DOH Provides $17.8 million for Lee Memorial Transition

Darrel J. Aubertine

April 8, 2009

Commissioner, Sen. Aubertine announce deal to preserve healthcare in Fulton

FULTON (April 9, 2009)—State Department of Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines M.D. said today that the state will provide $17.8 million in HEAL grant funding to preserve healthcare services at the A.L. Lee Memorial facilities in Fulton. The commissioner made the announcement at City Hall with state Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, who worked with the DOH to secure the funding, and Ann C. Gilpin, president and CEO of Oswego Health.

“The Department of Health, under the leadership of Commissioner Daines and Governor David Paterson, and Oswego Health recognize the needs of the people in and around Fulton,” Sen. Aubertine said. “Maintaining quality services at the A.L. Lee Memorial campus is critical to meeting the healthcare needs of people throughout Oswego County. This infusion from the Department of Health will allow Oswego Health to have a smooth transition in providing quality healthcare in Fulton.”

Health Commissioner Daines added: “Today's announcement sets the stage for high-quality healthcare to remain in the community, under a unified governance with Oswego Hospital, that will help stabilize the healthcare marketplace and allow people to receive needed healthcare services right here in Fulton.”

The $17.8 million will allow Oswego Health to take over the facility at A.L. Lee Memorial and make the necessary changes to turn the facility into an Urgent Care Center for non-emergency conditions that require immediate attention. The facility will provide the people of Fulton and southern Oswego County with urgent care, radiology, laboratory work, and occupational therapy services initially, with the intention of expanding services over time.

“On behalf of Oswego Health, I would like to thank State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines, as well as State Senator Aubertine for this funding,” said Ann C. Gilpin, president and CEO of Oswego Health. "Without this legislative support, along with that of the Oswego Health boards, and the community, we would not be able to achieve our mission, which is to provide excellent healthcare services. We know this has been a difficult time for the residents of the City of Fulton and Southern Oswego County, and we look forward to working with both communities to meet their healthcare needs."

Sen. Aubertine was elected to office in February 2008, two years after the Berger Commission slated Lee Memorial for closure. However, he immediately began working with the Fulton hospital’s administration and the Department of Health, along with Oswego Health and others, to come up with the best possible scenario to preserve services and protect jobs at the facility.

“A lot of hard work and a lot of difficult decisions made over the past year have brought us to this point. Countless meeting with both hospitals, the Department of Health, and others have culminated in this announcement that the state will invest in healthcare for Fulton and protect many of the services our friends and neighbors in this community rely on. We’re all looking forward to a smooth transition into the new healthcare model for Oswego County.”