Harmony Mills Pediatrics Fact Sheet

Objective: To create and/or associate with an organization dedicated to the population of Cohoes, NY and the surrounding community.

Twenty years ago, Pediatric care in Cohoes NY was provided by a combination of Dr. Lukman Murti, who ran a private practice on Columbia Street, and the Partnership for Healthier Communities (a joint project of St. Peter's, Seton’s St. Mary's in Troy and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center), which ran a pediatric, adult and maternity clinic in downtown underneath the library. In 2000, Seton built a larger facility on Mohawk street and took over the Partnership’s operation, and then left in 2006 From then on, Dr. William A. Grattan, who retained the Seton patients and occupied the Mohawk Street location and Dr. Murti were the sole Pediatric providers.

In 2012, Dr. Grattan hired Dr. MK DiTursi to assist him, and in 2013 closed his practice. Dr. DiTursi then opened xir own practice, also in the Mohawk Street location, caring for the same patients. Meanwhile, also in 2012, Dr. Murti retired and transferred his patients to Seton Health’s Clifton Park Pediatrics. Many of these patients later transferred to Dr. DiTursi. From 2013 onwards, Dr. DiTursi has been the only pediatrician in the city of Cohoes, assisted by a staff of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, primarily Ruth Kelleher, PNP.

The patients at Harmony Mills Pediatrics are a tightly woven, vibrantly diverse, and very high need population. Although most of the practice is Caucasian, non-Hispanic, and English speaking, we have groups of Russian, Polish, Chinese, and Afghani families as well. An internal survey in 2015 showed that 20% of our patients fit into interconnected, blood-related groups of ten patients or more, and that 12% of all our patients fit into one broad superfamily of children who are at least tertiary relatives. This does not even begin to address the intra-community links via godparent, foster parent, honorary parents, or people who just step up and let another’s child sit at their table for supper.

Harmony Mills specifically tracks rates of Obesity, Asthma, and Behavioral Health diagnoses in our children, as well as social risk factors such has high emergency room use, multiple no-shows, and parent activation scores below a certain threshold. Our families are represented in all these categories. 44% of the patients in the practice have at least one of the top three medical risk factors; 13% have two or more. 27% of our patients have at least one of the above listed social risk factor, beyond the levels of social risk reflected in our demographics.

The problems that have made it financially difficult for multiple physicians and organizations to provide care for children in Cohoes persist today. However, the value of having Pediatrics embedded in the community cannot be overstated. Be it parents who walk into our office because their phones are off and they cannot call, the morning walk-in hours that get kids to school, or the thousands of dollars of free care we provide every month, Harmony Mills remains committed to serving the children of Cohoes now and in the future.