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Wielding shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking were, from left: Tim O'Hearn, Schuyler County Administrator; Marty Stallone, MD, President & CEO, Cayuga Medical Center; Allison Hunt, representing U.S. Congressman Tom Reed; John Rudd, President & CEO, Cayuga Health System; NYS Senator Thomas O'Mara; Jim Watson, President & CEO, Schuyler Hospital; NYS Assemblyman Phil Palmesano; Dr. Michael Eisman, Director of Medical Staff; and Matt Rouff, the hospital's Executive Director of Outpatient and Support Services, and the project manager.

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start
of $10.3 million Schuyler Hospital project

Special to The Odessa File

MONTOUR FALLS, April 23, 2019 -- A ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at Schuyler Hospital to symbolically kick off the construction of a 15,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Medical-Surgical inpatient unit.

This is Phase 1 of a two-part construction project expected to be completed by July 2020.

Present were dozens of hospital workers, board members, media, and local and regional officials. The officials included the people in the photo atop this story, as well as Montour Falls Mayor John King, Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup, and Corning Enterprises President Tom Tranter.

Schuyler Hospital President/CEO James Watson served as master of ceremonies, issuing a long list of thank-yous to people who have helped develop the project.

Also speaking was John Rudd, president and CEO of Cayuga Health System, who deemed it "a very historic day." He said the joint Cayuga Health System venture envisioned in 2011 and formalized in 2014 has "accomplished so many things." The new project, he added, will be "totally transformational for the hospital, patients and community."

Other speakers included Alison Hunt, representing Congressman Tom Reed's office; Assemblyman Phil Palmesano; Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn; Mayor King; and State Senator Tom O'Mara, who said "the vitality of every community starts with its ability to provide health care."

The project was made possible by a $10.3 million New York State Statewide Health Care Facility Program Grant that was awarded in July of 2017. The unit will include 12 large, single rooms and 4 semi-private beds. Improved monitoring will allow nurses to check each patient’s status from a central station and quickly respond to monitor alerts detecting changes in a patient’s condition.

The new design, say hospital officials, "will provide a pleasant, healing environment" with an open central space that will give nurses an unobstructed view to the private patient rooms located along the unit’s perimeter.

“The improvements will provide better health care in our community and will allow our hospital’s staff to give more effective and efficient care to each patient,” said Rudd. “In addition, the growth and expansion at Schuyler Hospital benefits the entire Cayuga Health System, as we continually expand our health care role throughout the region.”

Phase 2 will include the complete renovation of the current Medical-Surgical unit into a 9,185-square-foot new Primary Care Center that will be telehealth-enabled and designed to offer improved care coordination. This move, officials noted, will enhance patient care by locating the Primary Care Clinic to the front of the building and adjacent to the Specialty Clinic and improve interdisciplinary coordination for treatment plans.

“Having Primary Care in our main building will also be a great convenience to our patients,” said Watson. “When patients see their physicians and get an order for blood work or x-rays, they only have to walk a few steps to get the tests done that day in the same building.”

The number of examination rooms in the new Primary Care Clinic will increase to 18 from the current 13 rooms. The additional rooms will improve scheduling of patient appointments and allow patients to see their physicians more quickly. The clinic will have a room dedicated to behavioral health visits and enhanced technology to provide rapid laboratory tests that can deliver diagnostic results in less than 15 minutes for flu and strep throat infections.

“We’ll also have a secure, high-speed digital link for telemedicine that advances local patient care,” said Watson. “When patients come to the Primary Care Clinic with complex health needs, the telemedicine link will allow our patients and their physicians to have a real-time consultation with a specialist at other locations across the system to develop a treatment plan.”

In anticipation of the expansion, work began in November 2018 on new and expanded parking lots to support the Transformation project.The Phase 1 project cost is primarily covered by a $10.3 million grant from New York’s Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program. The grant was the largest of six grants, totaling $40 million, awarded in 2017 to hospitals and health-care programs in the Southern Tier. The new project follows a $6.5 million renovation funded by a state grant in 2014 that improved the hospital’s clinical laboratory, radiology unit, operating rooms, out-patient registration area, and gift shop, as well as its main entrance and hallway.

“We’re designing these improvements to meet our patients’ needs, now and in the future,” said Matthew Rouff, Administrator, Outpatient and Support Services at Schuyler Hospital and the project’s manager.

The growth of specialty health-care services at Schuyler Hospital underscores how patient needs have been changing. In 2014, the hospital’s two specialists in orthopedics and general surgery had approximately1,500 patient visits. By the end of 2018, nine specialists were at the hospital for approximately 5,000 patient visits. The range of on-site specialty care includes oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery, gynecology, sleep/pulmonology, orthopedics, general surgery, wound care, and ear, nose and throat care.

Schuyler Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital, with a 120-bed skilled nursing facility attached. The hospital’s main campus -- on 50 acres-plus overlooking Seneca Lake -- is located in Montour Falls. For nearly 100 years, Schuyler Hospital has been the primary healthcare provider in and around Schuyler County.

Photos in text: From top: Layout of the planned Inpatient addition; Corning Enterprises President Tom Tranter, left, with Montour Falls Mayor John King (center) and State Senator Tom O'Mara; Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, left, approaches the podium, shaking hands with Schuyler Hospital President/CEO James Watson; and Watson at the podium.

Alison Hunt, representing Congressman Tom Reed's office, shares a laugh with Schuyler Hospital President/CEO James Watson.

Among the speakers were, from left: John Rudd, President and CEO of Cayuga Health System; and State Senator Tom O'Mara.

Preliminary work has already begun on the Inpatient addition at Schuyler Hospital.





© The Odessa File 2019
Charles Haeffner
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Odessa, New York 14869

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