Harckham Announces $500K State Grant to Reopen Birthing Center in Putnam Hospital

Dr. Mark Hirko, president of Putnam Hospital, with Sen. Pete Harckham

Carmel, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced today that he secured $500,000 of state funding to reopen the Birthing Center in Putnam Hospital, a 164-bed acute care facility located here in Carmel, NY. Maternity services at Putnam Hospital were temporarily suspended in March 2022, and since then the maternity unit has been undergoing renovations.  

The state appropriation, funded through the Community Local Community Assistance Program (CLCAP), will help ensure continued access to maternity care for thousands of greater Putnam County residents while also offsetting roughly 25% of the renovation project’s projected cost.

“This community hospital is one of the most important assets in Putnam County, but without a Birthing Center it cannot be viable,” said Harckham. “The newly renovated Birthing Center will allow for new revenue streams to help the hospital financially, and also create new memories for countless families. I was happy to step in with state funding and help to make this new center a reality. When open, community residents will not be inconvenienced or put at risk by needing to travel for critical procedures and checkups.”

“We are so grateful for the support of our community partners in helping to bring back a vital service in Putnam County,” said Dr. Mark Hirko, president of Putnam Hospital. “This is an invigorating start to the future growth and success of maternal care in our region.” 

Harckham joined Dr. Hirko for a tour of the Birthing Center, now in the midst of renovations, last week. To see some video from the visit, click here.

In the last two years, 745 babies were born at Putnam Hospital, which first opened in 1964. The only hospital in Putnam County, it serves about 150,000 residents across three counties, offering 24/7 emergency care, advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric care, as well as physical rehabilitation services. Today, Putnam Hospital is an affiliate of Nuvance Health, a nonprofit health system that serves more than 1.5 million residents in New York’s Hudson Valley and western Connecticut. 

Putnam Hospital’s 12,000 square-foot maternity care unit has not been updated since 2002. Much of the interior, including lighting fixtures were in need of replacement or repair.

The new renovations being undertaken to bring the facility up to contemporary patient care quality and safety standards include: new dimmable LED light fixtures and new procedure lights in the Labor, Delivery and Recovery rooms; renovations to the unit’s C-section room; new furniture for patient rooms and also for nurses’ stations, conference room and staff lounges; HVAC system upgrades; and décor and ambience improvements throughout the unit.  

The renovated Birthing Center at Putnam Hospital will feature 10 patient rooms, two on-call suites, operating room, scrub room, nurse station, waiting area, well baby nursery, conference room, staff lounge and medication room—all told, 12,000 square-feet. SLAM Cooperative, the architectural firm involved with the design and construction of the space, estimates costs between $1 and $2 million.