Hospital merger plan gets help from grant

A $1 million grant in the recently passed state budget will provide critical support for a planned m
PHOTOGRAPHER:

A $1 million grant in the recently passed state budget will provide critical support for a planned merger between St. Mary’s and Amsterdam Memorial hospitals, a hospital representative said Thursday.

The capital funding award, announced by state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, will be directed toward consolidating primary care services at the Amsterdam Memorial campus on state Route 30.

Administrators at both hospitals signed a memorandum of agreement last summer to pursue an affiliation that could include upgrades costing $30 million or more.

The St. Mary’s hospital campus on Guy Park Avenue in the city faces a parking shortage expected to be minimized by moving some operations from the city hospital and up to the more spacious Amsterdam Memorial Hospital campus on the town line.

Amsterdam Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Donald Massey said the funding is a small but important piece of the overall project, both in terms of the money and the legislative support for the project.

“We are very grateful to the senator. It sends a powerful message that he supports the goals that we’re trying to achieve,” Massey said.

“It’s one part of a total,” he said.

Administrators at both hospitals are drafting applications in hopes of landing part of $250 million in available funds through the state’s Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers.

The Amsterdam hospitals are also hoping to obtain a portion of $100 million in available HEAL-NY phase 6 funds, which are dedicated to expanding primary care in an outpatient setting and for extension clinics, officials have said.

Another $150 million in HEAL-NY phase 7 grants is available, to help hospitals and nursing homes with collaboration. Amsterdam Memorial Hospital also operates the adjacent Wilkinson Residential Care Facility.

The applications are due later this month, Massey said, and work has been ongoing since affiliation talks began.

“We’ve been at this for a while. I think this just highlights the fact that we’re working behind the scenes. We are very committed to this and we think we’re on track,” Massey said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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