On Monday, April 3, 2017, the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) received notification that we had been awarded the $300 million Health Care Facility Transformation grant to create an integrated healthcare delivery system in Oneida County. In the next 60 days we are providing additional information to meet the conditions of the grant and then we will enter into a Master Grant Contract (MGC) with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). This is exciting news for our healthcare system and our region. With the grant secured, we will begin our work on the design phase of the project. The architectural firm, NBBJ, was selected because of its expertise with urban design. We believe it will do an incredible job working with members of our healthcare team, medical staff and the community to design a new healthcare campus that integrates with all of the exciting efforts already underway in the City of Utica including Baggs Square and the Brewery District and Varick Street. Supporting NBBJ will be our construction manager Turner Construction Company. We will also begin to develop our Certificate of Need (CON) application for the NYSDOH. We anticipate that process will take 12 to 18 months. Our current estimate to open the new regional health center is 2022.
In April we celebrate our volunteers. We are truly blessed to have more than 500 volunteers who give their time, talent to the patients, residents and employees of MVHS. They are a remarkable resource for us; last year they contributed more than 55,000 hours. Through the Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH) Volunteer Association and the St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) Guild they also contributed nearly $100,000 toward services, equipment and scholarships. This week, and every week, please take time to say ‘thank you’ to our volunteers.
Congratulations to our Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Utica and Oneida County for a successful survey by the national Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP). CHAP is the equivalent of the hospital DNV survey but for home care services. VNA of Utica and Oneida County is a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency and the CHAP seal of approval assures patients that accredited programs have met the industry’s highest nationally recognized standards of excellence.
Also, congratulations to Amy Bowerman, RN, director of Quality Improvement/privacy officer for Home Care Services. Amy is receiving the 2017 Home Care Association’s Caring Award for her dedication to saving patients’ lives through sepsis intervention and commitment to quality enhancement. She will be honored at the annual awards program in May.
I also want to congratulate Heather L. Bernard, DNP, RN, CIC, director of Infection Prevention for MVHS. She has been asked to participate in the NYSDOH Hospital-Acquired Infection (HAI) Reporting Program Technical Advisory Workgroup (TAW). TAW is a group of physicians, nurses and representatives from professional organizations who provide guidance and expertise on the implementation and evaluation of HAI public reporting in NYS. Heather’s work on a state level will help bring back best practices and recommendations to support our ongoing infection prevention efforts at MVHS.
April is the annual meeting for the Board of Directors at MVHS. Norman I. Siegel, chairman of the MVHS Board of Directors, will be ending his term as chairman. Board member, Joan Compson, will be our new chairperson. Mr. Siegel was the first chairman for MVHS and he has done an extraordinary job leading the efforts of the board and our organization. I am very grateful for his strong and steadfast support of our mission to provide for excellence in healthcare in our communities. His vision, leadership and commitment to our community serve as a role model for any organization. Please join me in thanking him for his service to SEMC, FSLH and MVHS.
Scott H. Perra, FACHE