Seward Applauds Local Health Care Grants

ONEONTA, 09/25/09 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today applauded funding for area health care projects through the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York State (HEAL-NY), aimed at improving the state’s health care system.

“The funding will help enhance the quality of health care available locally while at the same time maximizing efficiencies and improving the bottom line for our healthcare providers,” said Senator Seward.  “Our local health care system also plays a major role in attracting families and businesses to our region.  These projects will help ensure top of the line care well into the future.”

 Seward noted the following awards:

 The A. O Fox/Bassett Hospital Collaborative Shared Services Project - $3.9 million:  The project will consolidate duplicative cardiology and cancer treatment clinical services into enhanced, shared services under legally-binding agreements, improve system and provider operational efficiencies for patient access and care, further evaluate acute care bed capacity at Fox Hospital which has reduced capacity by 28 beds through the development of a master facility plan, and expand outpatient ambulatory services responsive to community needs in Oneonta and the surrounding region;

 Bringing Assisted Living Services to Herkimer County - $4.2 million:  Valley Health Services Inc. will accept transfer of the county-run County Manor Adult Home.  Valley Health Services will create an assisted living residence program and an assisted living program for 16 beds.  34 county nursing home beds will be decertified.

“Paying for health care is part of a critical, ongoing national debate.  Projects like these show the ability to adapt and better serve the medical needs of our communities, reducing the overall cost of key services and preparing for the long-term,” concluded Seward.

The purpose of the HEAL-NY program is to improve the quality, stability and efficiency of health care services in New York state.  The funds will be allocated through both the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).  A total of $436 million in awards was announced for projects statewide.