North country hospitals receive $54 million in state grant funding

Several north country hospitals were recently awarded more than $54 million in grants from the state Department of Health.

On Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the funding, which is part of a $1.5 billion financial boost made possible by the state’s Capital Restructuring Financing Program and its Essential Health Care Provider Support Program.

Both programs were created by the governor to support the goals of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, which will reinvest $7.3 billion in Medicaid savings to New York’s hospitals and health care providers based on their ability to meet five-year goals.

“We have a responsibility to continue to make critical capital and infrastructure improvements that transform our health-care system into one of sustainability with a deep focus on improving patient care and delivery of vital services,” Gov. Cuomo said in a news release. “This funding allows them to do just that and is yet another example of how New York is leading the nation in adapting to meet 21st century health care needs.”

In Jefferson County, Carthage Area Hospital and River Hospital, of Alexandria Bay, both received funds for debt restructuring and financial stabilization projects.

River Hospital was allocated $2,747,973 and Carthage Area Hospital received $3,053,185.

“Community hospitals in rural areas like ours are important for the delivery of health care,” Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott A. Gray said. “The funding announcement by the state is welcomed news for the continued existence of these needed facilities in Carthage and Alexandria Bay.”

Lewis County General Hospital also received funds for debt restructuring, totaling $6,580,000.

“We are happy to be selected for an award from the state’s Essential Health Care Provider Support Program,” CEO Eric R. Burch said. “These important dollars will eliminate a portion of the hospital’s debt, improve operations and support the sustainability and growth of our organization as we transform the health care delivery system in our region.”

Debt restructuring and financial stabilization projects were also approved for two St. Lawrence County hospitals. Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg, received $14,376,607 and Massena Memorial Hospital was granted $5.8 million.

Massena Memorial Hospital submitted the application to the state Department of Health to assist with its conversion from a municipally-owned hospital to a private, nonprofit facility.

CEO Robert G. Wolleben said the award will help ensure financial stability during the conversion.

“We greatly appreciate the support of the state in recognizing MMH efforts as the sole community provider for health and medical services in Massena and the surrounding northern St. Lawrence County,” he said. “This grant helps us with our strategic initiatives in growing our services, improving patient experience and converting our corporate structure for financial stability.”

Other north country hospitals receiving funding include Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Plattsburgh; Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Queensbury; Moses Ludington Hospital, Ticonderoga; Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Lake; and Citizen Advocates, Inc. and Alice Hyde Medical Center, both of Malone.

By the numbers

Several north country hospitals were recently awarded more than $54 million from the state Department of Health as part of a $1.5 million funding initiative through the Capital Restructuring Financing and Essential Health Care Provider Support programs. The following hospitals received funding:

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg — $14,376,607

Moses Ludington Hospital, Ticonderoga — $9,149,352

Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville — $6,580,00

Massena Memorial Hospital — $5,800,000

Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Plattsburgh — $5,550,000

Carthage Area Hospital — $3,053,185

Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Queensbury — $2,977,003

River Hospital, Alexandria Bay — $2,747,973

Alice Hyde Medical Center, Malone — $450,000

Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Lake — $249,163

Citizen Advocates, Inc., Malone — $155,000

By Eli Anderson, Watertown Daily Times