Main Street to Have Healthy New Look

March 17, 2000

A long-vacant building at 127 N. Main Street will soon reopen as home to a popular Wellsville doctor, a partner and other physicians. Internist Keith Sale, M.D., will move his active medical practice into the former Rite Aid Pharmacy around May 1, once the facility has been renovated and rented by Strong Health, owners of the practice.

Strong Health has agreed to rent the space from the building's owners, Michael and Michelle Raptis, who are refurbishing the facility to include 15 patient exam rooms and common waiting and reception areas. Wellsville contractor L.C. Whitford Company began renovation of the 6,600-square-foot building in February. When complete, it will be fully handicap accessible with a spacious, adjacent parking lot. "I am delighted that Strong Health has decided to invest in Wellsville," said landlord Michael Raptis. "It's a prime location with a top-notch medical tenant. That's great news for this community."

Earlier this year Dr. Sale joined Strong Health, a Rochester-area health care network which includes Strong Memorial Hospital and the Children's Hospital at Strong. Strong Health has a long-standing affiliation with both St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell and Wellsville's Jones Memorial Hospital to provide specialty care in the southern tier.

According to Leo Brideau, Strong Health's vice president for Network Development, the system plans to recruit one, or perhaps two new physicians to join the Sale practice. "Dr. Keith Sale is a popular physician with a thriving medical practice. An additional partner will help us continue to provide individualized care and manage growing numbers of patients," he said. "Strong Health has a long history of working with Jones Memorial and we are pleased to be able to offer patients a central, specially designed location in the heart of Wellsville, near the hospital."

Bill DiBerardino, Jones Memorial Hospital president and CEO, said, "Strong Health's long-term commitment to provide additional medical offices and physicians to the Wellsville area shows its ongoing desire to strengthen the affiliation with our institution and the desire to help us bring the highest quality medical care to our community. As we look to the future, I'm more confident than ever that we have chosen the best possible health care partner."

The facility at 127 N. Main Street has been vacant since Rite Aid Pharmacy relocated in 1996. Wellsville Mayor Susan Goetchius expressed enthusiasm about the new arrangement. "I am very excited about Strong Health's decision to use this space," she said. "It promises to enhance the health care options available to area residents while also drawing residents to our downtown area."

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Teri D'Agostino
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