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Integrated Health Campus – Features and Benefits

To realize the Mohawk Valley Health System’s (MVHS) vision of achieving excellence in healthcare for our communities, MVHS is consolidating existing resources, eliminating redundancies, expanding the depth and breadth of services, improving access and elevating the quality of healthcare services in the region.

A new, integrated health campus will help this vision become a reality.

Midstate Emergency Medical Services Looks Forward to New MVHS Regional Healthcare Campus

Timing is everything in emergency medical care. But with treatment specialties divided among two separate hospitals, quickly navigating the best path to care isn’t always an easy task for the more than 1,500 emergency medical service (EMS) providers that staff the 57 ambulance services and 91 ambulances throughout Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties.

Dan Broedel, program director of Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Emergency Medical Services (EMS), says that the new Regional Healthcare Campus in downtown Utica will deliver a solution to this current challenge.

“Right now if we have a patient that’s had a heart attack and a stroke, which does happen, we have to evaluate which hospital to take them to because St. Elizabeth is known for its excellent cardiac treatment, but St. Luke’s Campus is a designated stroke center,” said Broedel. “At times it can be difficult for those of us in the field to accurately diagnose the level of need for these complex patients. Having one central location with all the services will make an incredible difference.”

MVHS provides numerous specialty care services that regional patients often need in times of an emergency. These services include trauma, ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) programs (cardiac needs during an emergency), a primary stroke center and a neonatal program. Currently, hospital specialty services are divided between St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC) and the St. Luke’s Campus of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH). Because specialty services vary from one Emergency Department (ED) to the other, patients may present at an ED that does not have that specialty.

As an example, patients who currently arrive at SEMC with stroke symptoms are triaged and transferred to the St. Luke’s Campus of FSLH, the area’s designated stroke center. On a daily basis, EMS transports 10 to 12 patients between the two campuses to ensure they are receiving care at the campus best suited for their needs.

Vinny Faraone, clinical advisor for Midstate EMS, looks forward to the two campuses coming together as one Regional Healthcare Campus.

“With specialty services consolidated at one location, we will be able to avoid the need for so many daily patient transfers,” Faraone said. “We will also be working in a new, more modern environment in the new hospital, which will have an expanded state-of-the-art Emergency Department. These improvements will have a tremendous impact on patients and families by supporting improved access to care and clinical quality.”

Broedel and Faraone are also excited about the location of the new hospital. They say that the downtown Utica location is more centralized for the large regional area that they serve.

“The location of the new hospital actually makes it easier for our ambulances as they come from all directions,” said Broedel. “Right now, all ambulances have to go to the south-end of the city which can make for a longer trip if you are coming from the north, east or west.”

A New Health Campus

  • Brings together emergency, acute care, specialty outpatient services now at separate locations:
    • Emergency Trauma and Cardiac Services, St. Elizabeth Campus
    • Stroke and Maternity Services, St. Luke’s Campus
  • Aids in physician coverage for emergencies since there will no longer be a need to cover two campuses. This is important for specialty services such as neurosurgery where currently there is only one physician for the system.
  • New facility goals:
    • All inpatient rooms will be private to promote healing, protect patients at high risk of infections, help keep infections from spreading, promote confidentiality/care provider discussions, reduce the need to transfer patients; patient rooms will accommodate family members, visitors, and include Wi-Fi, TV.
    • Patients control room temperature and lighting.
    • Room design improves efficiency and safety by standardizing care room-to-room.
    • Hospital-wide communication systems create a quieter, calming environment (i.e. minimal overhead paging, using phones instead).
    • The facility will also include a sound-minimizing design and materials to reduce noise and improve the patient experience.
    • Critical supplies next to patient rooms minimize time and travel distances.
    • Strategically located departments maximize patient transport efficiency, privacy.
    • Convenient multiple healthcare provider availability in single location will also enhance medical team collaboration.
    • Ample, convenient parking to serve patients, visitors, employees, medical staff, volunteers, vendors, emergency vehicles, others.
  • The new downtown hospital supports economic development and attracts an active presence of community members and visitors. Downtown housing, businesses, food, retail, education and entertainment venues are positioned to greatly benefit from the influx of more than 3,500 MVHS employees, as well as medical staff and volunteers at the new integrated health campus.
  • A public-private project of this size and complexity involves many process steps. MVHS has established a steering committee to ensure all project requirements are met.