With a little more than 3,500 pages split between two volumes, the draft environmental impact statement for the downtown Utica hospital project is “quite comprehensive,” said Fred Matrulli. Read full article >>
Call it a blessing. For a downtown congregation. For the city of Utica. For the Mohawk Valley Health System.
Last week, it was announced that Turning Point Church, which sits in the footprint of the planned downtown hospital, had reached a purchase option agreement with MVHS for its building at 438 Columbia St. and plans to move into the former Grimaldi’s Restaurant at 418 Bleecker St.
This is a win for everyone. Read full article >>
The future of health care in Utica is taking shape in the building that houses the New Hartford office of Mohawk Valley Health System Medical Group at Crossroads Plaza in New Hartford. Read full article >>
Area residents no longer have to wonder what the planned downtown hospital will look like. The Mohawk Valley Health System released drawings of the building’s exterior on Friday morning. The drawings show a two-story brick podium, topped by a composite metal panel inpatient tower that soars to nine stories. Podium windows are large and vertical, while windows on the tower are smaller and arranged in horizontal rows. Read full article >>
August 31, 2018
The 672,000-square-foot hospital proposed for downtown Utica has secured its funding.
A better part of Mohawk Valley Health System’s approximately $480 million endeavor — which calls for a 25-acre hospital campus in the neighborhood of Oriskany, Columbia and State streets and Broadway — already was accounted for with a $300 million state grant. The remainder will be funded by a $180 million loan, which will be finalized within the next few weeks, said Robert Scholefield, the health system’s executive vice president. Read full article>>
August 8, 2018
UTICA — Oneida County officials are taking steps to start the parking garage component of the proposed downtown Utica hospital project.
The project calls for a new parking garage to support Mohawk Valley Health System’s $480 million downtown hospital, which is targeted for the neighborhood of Oriskany, Columbia and State streets and Broadway.
The Oneida County Board of Legislators moved Wednesday to transfer $500,000 into a newly established capital services account for the garage.
“That’s going to begin paying for some of the design work as a result of (a request for proposals) and the selection of an architectural firm to scope out what the garage could look like and give us an indication of cost to build a garage,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr.
April 19, 2018
Local business owners and union members gathered Thursday under the magnificent chandeliers of the once rundown and threatened Hotel Utica — now DoubleTree by Hilton — to demonstrate their belief that a downtown hospital would continue the revitalization of Utica.
“We think there is much more support in the community than has been visible,” said Patrick Becher, chairman of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.
To demonstrate that, local business owners stood next to the podium holding signs with their business names. Members of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Local 277, wearing orange and yellow T-shirts, dotted the crowd. A news release lists the names of 21 businesses whose owners who have agreed to support the downtown hospital.
March 29, 2018
So today, the Observer-Dispatch is presenting a detailed look at what is known and what isn’t known about the hospital so far.
For this project, reporters Greg Mason and Amy Neff Roth culled the O-D archives for information and interviewed health system officials and others involved in the project. They also, when feasible, called in outside experts for fact-checking help.
This report looks at the facts and tries to answer some of the questions from critics and proponents alike.
March 29, 2018
Need to catch up on how the downtown hospital plans have developed so far? Here’s a timeline:
March 29, 2018
Can a new hospital deliver better health care than the existing buildings, even if you renovate those buildings?
Ask staff at the St. Elizabeth and St. Luke’s campuses of the Mohawk Valley Health System and they’ll describe all sorts of problems with existing spaces in the hospitals, problems that would be hard to fix. Many of the issues they describe have to do with rooms that are too small, hallways that are too narrow and technology that has nowhere to go. That technology was invented after the hospitals opened 100 and 60 years ago, respectively, so space for it wasn’t part of the design.
March 29, 2018
Can building a new hospital improve local health care?
A gurney journey through St. Elizabeth Medical Center provides some perspective on the issue. Stretchers carrying patients have to dodge passersby and equipment are stored in hallways — for lack of space elsewhere — that are narrower than modern medical standards.
When a patient in a stretcher needs to go in one of the hospital’s smaller elevators, visitors or staff in the elevator are asked to vacate. If a patient is traveling with extra equipment, such as an IV, and is accompanied by several staff members — say moving from the emergency room to an operating room — some of the staff have to run up the stairs to meet the stretcher because there isn’t room for everyone on board, said Dr. Eric Yoss, the health system’s senior vice president and chief quality officer.
March 29, 2018
Build it at St. Luke’s.
That’s become the rallying cry of opponents to the downtown site for the new Mohawk Valley Health System hospital.
And the health system’s St. Luke’s Campus was chosen by the health system’s board as a backup site should the downtown site not prove financially feasible. But the health system has since backed off St. Luke’s, citing logistical problems with trying to construct a new hospital while operating another hospital and a nursing home on the same site.
But the single biggest drawback to the St. Luke’s Campus might be the cost. The health system has been awarded a $300 million state grant for the new hospital, but the legislation creating the grant stipulates that the hospital must be built in the “population center” of Oneida County.
March 29, 2018
That is the total budget for the Mohawk Valley Health System’s new hospital project, and representatives thus far do not foresee that changing anytime soon.
Not included is the cost of a new parking garage designed to support the project. It initially was estimated that the garage — including renovations to the existing Kennedy Parking Garage — would cost $43.5 million, with any debt split between Oneida County and the City of Utica. County officials, however, say the amount is still just a rough estimate at this point.
Here’s a look at the dollars and cents behind each endeavor:
March 29, 2018
Mohawk Valley Health System’s goal remains finding amicable solutions to acquire each of the 82 tax parcels that comprise the 25-acre hospital project site, said Robert Scholefield, the health system’s executive vice president.
Ten parcels are owned by the City of Utica, while the others are split among 35 property owners. And while the health system is reporting that seven have agreed to purchase-option agreements as of this week, 22 remain in negotiation, five have not responded and three are expected to be steadfast refusals.
March 29, 2018
Here are some of the questions that still need to be answered as the hospital project develops:
Question: What would happen to St. Elizabeth and St. Luke’s hospitals?
Short answer: Nobody knows (yet).
It was in November 2014 that Mohawk Valley Health System announced it is exploring a new hospital.
The hospital will replace the St. Elizabeth and St. Luke’s hospitals. Yet in the time that has passed, the future of those buildings still remains unclear.
January 7, 2018
When Dr. Eric Yoss saw a nursing unit in the new Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Replacement Medical Center in New Orleans, he saw the future of nursing in Utica.
“That took my breath away on how that was laid out. ... You look over the floor and you see everything,” said Yoss, senior vice president and chief quality officer for the Mohawk Valley Health System.
The hospital, like many recently constructed facilities, uses an open core model that keeps nurses close to patients and lets charge nurses and doctors easily see what’s going on along the corridor.
January 4, 2018
We have read and seen several comparisons in the media between the proposed hospital project in downtown Utica and St. Joseph’s Health Hospital in Syracuse. We are disappointed to see that these comparisons often portray St. Joseph’s in a negative light.
We certainly appreciate the history and cultures of our storied cities, but as Saint Marianne Cope’s 150-year-old legacy of caring indicates, we are not in the business of demolishing neighborhoods where many of our patients live. We are in the business of advancing communities for a healthier future.
November 19, 2017
Mohawk Valley Health System took a giant step this week when it publicly rolled out a site plan for its new hospital along Lafayette, Columbia, Cornelia and State streets in downtown Utica.
The new facility will revolutionize health care in the region.
The fact that the hospital is being designed from the inside out should bode well for patient care since departments will be arranged to best accommodate the needs of those requiring care. All the inconveniences and inefficiencies of the current hospital design can be considered in creating the new facility. For instance, an emergency room patient who needs an X-ray will only have to be taken next door to radiology in the new hospital. Current hospitals require ER patients be transported through public corridors to get to radiology.
But it means much more than that. A new state-of-the-art hospital will be an invaluable tool in recruiting new physicians to our region - a growing need over the next few years as current doctors retire. Mid-size communities such as Utica often have a tough time attracting doctors, and a new hospital with adjacent office space can be a major incentive. Our convenient geographic location - a community within an easy drive of major metro areas and prime vacation spots like the Adirondacks, St. Lawrence and Finger Lakes regions - will be additional draw.
New resources, too, can lead to improved health care for us and future generations, lessening the need to go outside the area for medical services.
September 3, 2017
The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties has thrown its support – organizational skills and possibly some of its money – behind the new Mohawk Valley Health Center’s planned downtown hospital.
The exact form that help will take has not yet been determined, though, said Alicia Dicks, foundation president and CEO.
And while the foundation has thrown its weight behind the project, critics, however, have expressed concern about transparency with Dicks and the foundation board.
“What we’re trying to do is – always in partnerships with stakeholders – move forward with a strategy that’s meaningful for the community,” she said.
The hospital is in charge of the project, but the foundation will look for ways to help address community concerns, such as access, transportation, walkability and urbanization, and to make sure the hospital works for the community.