The board of Mohawk Valley Health System is announcing the proposed location for a new hospital in Utica, New York.

The hospital board has voted to build the new facility in downtown Utica, not far from the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

According to a written statement released by Mohawk Valley Health System:

"Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed, and the New York State Legislature approved, $300 million in the 2015 New York State budget to help to 'create an integrated healthcare delivery system in Oneida County.' This legislation provides an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity for us to build a new, freestanding hospital for our community. It is truly a game-changer for our region.

The new hospital would replace the inpatient services currently provided at the St. Luke's Campus of Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare (FSLH) and at St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC). We estimate the project will cost approximately $500 million to $600 million, depending on the location, and take four to six years to complete.

In recent months, the Board of Directors of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has been working with a number of different companies and agencies to determine the appropriate site for the new facility. Our primary goal is providing exceptional healthcare to our community. With that as our focus, we will choose the best-suited location, workcollaboratively with our community leaders, and keep the project as affordable as possible.

We have narrowed our review to two sites, the St. Luke’s Campus of FSLH and downtown Utica. The board has voted to build at the downtown site. The general area for the location is across from the Utica Auditorium between Oriskany and Columbia Streets. We recognize that a new hospital downtown can provide a catalyst for the revitalization of the City of Utica and the entire Mohawk Valley. We look forward to working with our governmental partners and local business and community leaders on moving this option forward. Throughout the planning and implementation of this new building, it is critical that MVHS continue to be financially sound and able to provide quality medical care for the entire community.

In the event the downtown site proves not to be financially viable, we will move on to our second site option at the St. Luke’s Campus, which the board feels will also serve the community well.

The Mohawk Valley Health System is an affiliation of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center. The two organizations affiliated in March 2014."

Officials say that the process was a lengthy one, and well thought-out, despite the fact that some groups have opposed the idea.

The subject was discussed in great length this morning on WIBX First News with Keeler:

Since the announcement Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has released the following statement:

“Earlier this year, I was able to secure $300 million in the State Budget to begin work on a state of the art hospital to replace the aging existing hospitals in the Utica area. The new hospital should be centrally located and easily accessible for the people it would serve.  The downtown site is on major bus routes, and will be easy for people to access.  Many studies show that downtown hospitals significantly benefit the areas they are located in.  Hospital employees would be working downtown, and patronizing nearby restaurants and other businesses.  It will significantly fuel a downtown revival that is already underway.  The discussion that will soon follow on designing this new hospital is one everyone who is interested in our region’s future should take part in.”

Officials say that great emphasis will be placed on the facility's fiscal soundness.

[EDITOR's NOTE: This is a developing story and this post will be updated again this afternoon.  In addition, our live discussion regarding this topic will continue on WIBX First News with Keeler on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, the audio of which will be posted in the Keeler Show Notes from September 22, 2015 and September 23, 2015.]

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