Saratoga County

2nd emergency facility proposed for Clifton Park

Another large, regional hospital has come forward with plans for a full-service emergency department

Another large, regional hospital has come forward with plans for a full-service emergency department at the busy Northway Exit 9-Route 146 area of Clifton Park.

Seton Health of Troy announced Thursday it wants to locate an emergency department near its current medical building at Route 146 and Tallow Wood Drive.

Ellis Medicine of Schenectady announced earlier this year plans for a full-service emergency department at a tentative site off Route 146 at Maxwell Road near the Staples store.

The state Department of Health, which is currently reviewing the applications, may only issue one of the applicants the required “certificate of need” for the project to become a reality. It is unlikely the state would approve two emergency departments so close together, officials said.

The Seton Health/St. Mary’s Hospital proposal includes a 10,750-square foot addition to Seton Health’s current medical building and urgent care center. This would be less than a half-mile west of the 12-bed, satellite emergency department site proposed by Ellis Medicine.

“Last year there were more than 76,500 patient visits from southern Saratoga County residents at the Seton Health facility,” said Pamela Rehak, vice president for planning and communications for Seton Health.

She said the proposed emergency department would provide an additional eight emergency beds and two inpatient beds to the campus that currently provides urgent care, family practice, internal medicine, medical labs and other services.

“Seton Health has been operating from this location for more than 20 years,” said Gino Pazzaglini, Seton Health’s president and CEO.

“We know and understand the residents of southern Saratoga County and will remain faithful to serving these communities for decades to come,” Pazzaglini said in a written statement.

Seton Health also operates a nursing home, Seton Health at Schuyler Ridge, on Maxwell Road in Clifton Park.

Rehak said the cost to design, plan and equip the emergency department would be $1.2 million but this did not include the cost of construction of the facility.

She said a developer would build the emergency facility and lease it, long term, to Seton Health.

Clifton Park officials are well aware of the Ellis Medicine plans for a full-service emergency department in the town but had not been informed of the Seton Health plans.

John Scavo, Clifton Park’s planning director, said no Seton Health plans had been presented to his office for review.

The state Health Department is currently reviewing the applications for a certificate of need required for such an emergency facility, according to Claire Pospisil, a Health Department spokeswoman.

She said Ellis Medicine submitted its plans and application for a certificate of need in early August. The Seton Health plans were submitted to the Health Department on Nov. 25, according to Rehak.

The Health Department is also reviewing plans submitted this summer by Saratoga Hospital for an emergency department on Route 67 off Northway Exit 12 in Malta. This would replace the hospital’s current medical facility on Route 9 in Malta.

“Part of the review process is to determine what the need is,” Pospisil said. She said for an emergency department to be built, an approved certificate of need is required.

“I really can’t tell you what the time frame is,” she said.

Ellis Medical officials said last month they hoped to hear something from the state on their application by late December or January.

“Ellis is focused on our continued efforts to best meet the health care needs of our entire primary service area which includes southern Saratoga County,” said Donna M. Evans, an Ellis Medicine spokeswoman.

“We’re confident in our plan and in our ability to provide the highest quality of emergency services for families in those communities, most of whom already count on Ellis for the care they need,” Evans said.

Ellis Medicine officials note that Ellis is the largest provider of acute care for residents in the area that would be served by the satellite emergency department in Clifton Park.

“Ellis has had more than a year experience in running what is essentially a free-standing emergency department at the Ellis Health Center, the former St. Clare’s Hospital,” Evans said.

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