Rome Memorial Hospital is receiving $16.5 million through the state’s Essential Health Care Provider Support Program.
The announcement was made late Friday morning by state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, and Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica.
Also, the Utica Community Health Center has been awarded nearly $1.5 million.
“As the Mohawk Valley’s economy continues to grow, it is important we have state-of-the-art health care services in our region,” said Brindisi. “The funding awarded to Rome Memorial Hospital and the Utica Community Health Center through this innovative program will help these two health care providers to thrive by providing the resources needed for them to modernize and operate more efficiently.”
The program provides assistance to help health care facilities restructure and modernize to provide more efficient health care, as well as to help improve health care options in areas of the state that are underserved.
“The millions of dollars in funding that Rome Memorial Hospital and Utica Community Health Center have been awarded will go a long way in helping these facilities provide even better services to even more people,” said Griffo. “As a former mayor of Rome, I played a key role in privatizing Rome Memorial to ensure its future viability so that the hospital would be in a stronger position to continue providing quality acute health care to the greater Rome community.”
Today's announcement is not related to the effort to land money to enable the Mohawk Valley Health System to construct a new inpatient hospital to replace St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Faxton-St. Luke's. Local officials remain hopeful that the new Oneida County hospital that would consolidate inpatient services now offered at Faxton-St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth Medical Center into one will be included in the state budget when it is adopted.
Rome Memorial says it will use the money to retire debt incurred for capital investments in the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Center and information technology.
“The funding will facilitate the hospital’s transformation plan to strengthen financial, clinical and operational performance by providing $16.5 million in debt relief.," said new President and Chief Executive Officer David Lundquist.
He added, “Rome Memorial Hospital is grateful to Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Commissioner of General Services RoAnn Destito, County Executive Anthony Picente and others who strongly advocated on behalf of our application for funding from the Essential Health Care Provider Support Program."
Outgoing Interim President/Chief Executive Officer Darlene A. Burns said, "his funding will help protect the essential services that RMH provides to the 68,000 residents of Rome and surrounding rural communities.”
The current state spending plan earmarked $300 million for a new Oneida County hospital. However, this allocation was not carried over to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s spending plan for 2016-17, an unexpected development that sent local government and Mohawk Valley Network System officials scurrying to get the money restored in some manner in the final 2016-17 budget. What they’re looking for at the very least is a state commitment to the project. They acknowledge that the full $300 million is not needed in one year.
A new hospital is unlikely without the state money. Total project could be in the neighborhood of $600 million.