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Oneida Indian Nation to donate $1 million to Wynn Hospital

Thomas Caputo
Staff writer
Posted 5/23/23

The Oneida Indian Nation has donated $1 million to support Mohawk Valley Health System and the new Wynn Hospital in downtown Utica.

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Oneida Indian Nation to donate $1 million to Wynn Hospital


UTICA — The Oneida Indian Nation has donated $1 million to support Mohawk Valley Health System and the new Wynn Hospital in downtown Utica. The donation comes as the hospital is nearing the end of its construction and slated to open by October.

A portion of the $1 million donation from the Oneida Indian Nation will fund two pieces of art that will be prominently displayed outside the hospital, a bronze sculpture that will be placed at the main entrance to the hospital and a mural along the hospital campus' Central Utility Plant on Columbia Street, which will be visible from the south patient rooms and the nearby traffic.

The sculpture, created by artist Edward Hlavka, called “Allies in War, Partners in Peace” will be located outside the hospital’s entrance. The monument at Wynn Hospital will only be the second “Allies in War, Partners in Peace” ever created – the original is located at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. It depicts George Washington, Oneida Indian Chief Shenendoah and Polly Cooper, an Oneida woman who traveled hundreds of miles to feed General Washington and his troops.

Both art pieces will showcase the history and partnerships between the Oneida Indian Nation and colonists from the 18th century and beyond.

"To honor the shared history of the Oneida People and the region, Mohawk Valley Health System has requested that a portion of this donation be used to commission two pieces of cultural art in recognition of this special legacy and relationship," said Ray Halbritter, CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises and representative for the Oneida Indian Nation.

"We are proud to contribute to this critically important investment of healthcare for Oneida County. This is especially true because this donation represents the latest chapter in the ongoing story of growth and collaboration that is fueled the development of our region for so many years,” Halbritter added.

Looking forward

The Oneida Indian Nation's $1 million donation is one of the many significant monetary contributions that MVHS has received for the downtown hospital. MVHS has also received a $50 million donation from the Wynn Family Foundation, the namesake for the hospital, as well as $300 million grant from New York State for the hospital's construction. MVHS will also be utilizing the nearly $56 million Oneida County parking garage adjacent to the hospital.

With five months until the hospital is expected to open, MVHS officials have aggressively worked to hire new doctors and healthcare providers to work at the new facility, with a goal of ultimately transforming healthcare for the Mohawk Valley.

"Momentum is building for our new medical campus and we are so excited to be opening our doors at the end of October," said Darlene Stromstad, president and CEO of MVHS. "What is happening here though is more than just a new building. It's about how our flagship, Wynn Hospital, is giving us the foundation to transform healthcare in our region."

"The Wynn is not only fueling innovation, but also bringing in new doctors and caregivers to this region,” Stromstad added. "It's a very exciting time for healthcare but its also a very exciting time for our community, but we could not do this without partners and support from our community, like the Oneida Indian Nation, to stand besides us both in their words and their actions."


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