Ernie Feliciano isn’t a North Shore local — but he might as well be.
While he resides on the South Shore overcoming a half-hour long daily commute, he is known throughout the North Shore community for the exceptional care provided by his healthcare business, The Med Station, located on the border of Glen Cove and Locust Valley.
Feliciano and his wife, Debbie, who practices medicine at The Med Station, took over the Glen Cove establishment back in 2017. But they didn’t start their career at the urgent care center as owners. While South Shore natives, the Felicianos lived in Ohio at the time to finish their medical training, and moved back to Long Island in 2007. They started working at The Med Station under Dr. Russell Samuel, who established the practice in 1990. Once Dr. Samuel was ready to retire, he did not even consider selling the business — rather, he gave it to the Felicianos.
“Well, there was a ceremonial one dollar,” Feliciano said. “We’ve been running it for three years now.”
The patients at The Med Station regularly hail from Glen Cove and Locust Valley, but also from Glen Head and Sea Cliff, according to Feliciano. Services offered include all primary care and occupational medicine- related services. In addition to providing care to walk-in urgent care and primary care patients, The Med Station holds contracts to perform all employee physical exams with bus companies, school districts, villages and towns and nursing homes.
“At our office, we always have three providers present,” Feliciano explained. “We have one doctor, one physician’s assistant and one nurse practitioner at the same time.” With regard to insurance, “it’s very tricky how [we] do it,” Feliciano said. However, while The Med Station is limited in its ability to bill an insurance company for the entire amount of an urgent care visit, it accepts almost all insurances.
But business as usual at The Med Station became not as usual during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. “We are doing our best to try and control the spread,” Feliciano said. “All healthcare facilities are more susceptible to contract viruses. Not everyone who visits a grocery store is sick, while 75 percent of people who come in to see us are sick.” Even with The Med Station’s extensive efforts to keep the virus at bay — which include utilizing patient cars as waiting areas, advocating for telemedicine, using only two of the office’s five exam rooms to encourage social distancing and sanitizing the rooms between appointments — the pandemic effected the Feliciano family on a personal level when both Feliciano and his wife tested positive for COVID-19.
While Debbie continued to see patients via Telemedicine, Feliciano remained at the office, managing the business and in-person patients. Eventually, both tested positive for antibodies, but not without dueling quarantine periods. In addition, half of the staff at The Med Station came down with the virus due to their collective exposure.
In classic style, The Med Station never closed for a day throughout the height of the pandemic. Its only recent closure came as a result of a power outage due to Tropical Storm Isaias.
Through all of the pandemic-related trials, managing a business, commuting and taking care of a family, Feliciano remains committed to the local community as an active member of North Shore Biz Network, the Gold Coast Business Association, the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce and the Locust Valley Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he volunteers the first aid tent at Glen Cove Youth Soccer games, and he arrives with his children in tow to help him work the tent — “so they could learn the altruistic part of medicine.” Perhaps most importantly, Feliciano has served as the coach of his son’s soccer teams for over ten years.
“This community is very tight-knit,” Feliciano said. “Generally, everybody helps each other. I see that on Facebook. I haven’t seen that on the South Shore.” In addition to social media, Feliciano says that he learns of local good deeds from his patients. “They talk about how they help each other,” he said.
-Submitted by the North Shore Biz Network