$8 Million Grant for St. Luke’s Newburgh Campus Expansion
By Edie Johnson
Expansion to Address Strategy for the Growing Needs of Region
The entry area of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital was packed full of all manner of area officials, doctors, medical staff and regional health care providers who gathered to hear President and CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk announce yet another grant, this time for the hospital’s Newburgh campus. Not only, she said, will this be important in establishing St. Luke’s as a Level III Trauma Center, the expansion is part of a regional health strategy with the Montefiore Health System.” Cusack-McGuirk quickly acknowledged that “This grant was in large part secured by Senator Bill Larkin who has been a longtime partner and friend to this hospital.” Larkin had previously obtained $100,000 for anesthesiology equipment as well as a $1 million state grant for construction of a helipad. He has been instrumental in obtaining other grants for the hospital as well.
The funding will be used for expansion of Triage and Fast Track Space for the Emergency Department and will make patient care processing more efficient. A Second Story Observation Unit will be added to assess conditions which may not rise to the level of requiring immediate admission, such as asthma or chest pain. A third use will be expansion of the hospital’s existing parking lot and an MRI suite. The MRI suite is expected to offer a major enhancement in efficiency. While the hospital’s use of Hudson Valley Imaging for MRI services has, they said, been extremely helpful, the ability to have the work done on site will greatly improve efficiency. Jeff Menkes of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital stated his continued commitment to facilitating care at both St. Luke’s locations.
Assemblyman Frank Skartados said that this $8 Million is part of a $500 million appropriation that the New York State Legislature appropriated this year to enhance and expand emergency and trauma services, to meet the growing needs of the region. Skartados added, this hospital is “The Anchor of the City of Newburgh”
Cusack-McGuirk added “If there was ever any doubt about our ability to step up to Level III challenges, it was answered last night (with treatment of the Verla Cosmetics factory explosion and fire injuries). ” She continued “One hundred and twenty-eight injuries were seen; a Cornwall firefighter was transferred to Westchester, and another was admitted. The rest were seen and discharged by the end of the evening.” She said that after describing her hopes for expansion to Senator Larkin earlier this year, he simply said “I’m In”.
The expansion will take about 18 months to complete, and they intend to begin construction in 2018.
Present to celebrate the grant, were county legislators Kevin Hines of Cornwall, Legislative Chair Steve Brescia, Representative Sean Maloney, Philanthropist Bill Kaplan, Hal Teitelbaum, Founder of Crystal Run Healthcare, Jeff Menkes President and CEO of Burke Rehabilitation and about 30 other well-wishers. Teitelbaum reminded the celebrants “We are in the Quality of Life business. It’s a metaphor for caring”, adding that assisting the quality of life of residents in Orange County depends on the successful partnerships that exist between the different Health Care Provider branches in the area. Senator Larkin agreed, saying “This is what we are put on this earth to do!”