Podiatry clinic closes after 45 years in Port

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Dr. Elba Chirel and Hiram Chirel at their clinic in Port Washington. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

For 45 years Dr. Hiram Chirel and his wife, Dr. Elba Chirel, have run the North Shore Podiatric Foot Care Consultant in Port Washington. But that time has come to an end, as the couple announced that they would be closing their practice and moving to Florida.

As you get older, the time comes to move on to the next thing,” Hiram Chirel said. “Ordinarily I wouldn’t consider moving, but it’s gotten more difficult as I am 86 years old.”

In a letter to members of the Port Washington community, the Chirels announced that Nov. 15 would be their final day of work, and that all patients will be transferred to Advanced Podiatry, located in the Americana shopping mall in Manhasset.

The Chirels started with a practice in Toms River, New Jersey, but came to New York when they purchased a practice in Port Washington. A few years after opening their practice in the area, the couple moved there as well.

“It shows a great diversity of individuals, of religions, of different types of living,” Hiram Chirel said. “It is a very comfortable community and we were very happy living here.”

When asked about his proudest accomplishment, he said the care that he was able to provide to all who visited the practice. But he also mentioned his time as president of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association, a capacity in which he served from 1995 to 1997.

Elba Chirel said the thing she would miss most about Port Washington was the people.

“They are the greatest people in the world,” she said. “From Day One, they treated me and my husband so well. They were phenomenal and we’re going to miss them terribly.”

Although age was a factor, Hiram Chirel also indicated that changes to Medicare played a role in deciding to end the practice.

“Many of [our patients] have Medicare and it was more and more difficult due to requirements, billing, reimbursements, it was just too much,” he said.

Despite his reluctance to leave Port Washington, he did admit that he would not miss the weather.

“One of the questions I asked about the retirement community is if part of the services was shoveled snow.” he joked. “Now all I have to worry about is the hurricanes.”

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