A health care facility in Orange County, New York has received a state grant to expand services at its Cornwall campus.
Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall President and CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk says she learned of the $11.9 million grant at the end of January.
“We had promised the community two years ago when we started consolidating services that we would really build this as an outpatient facility. It’s really the definition of transformation,” McGuirk says. “And we are in the midst of delivery system redesign, and it’s occurring right here. “I do believe we will be a model for the nation. I really believe that.”
The state Department of Health funding, which Democratic state Senator James Skoufis helped secure, will be partially used to create a so-called Open Access Primary Care Center.
“People are going to be able to walk in off the streets and get care that they need, and for extended hours during the day. This campus is going to be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility to treat, not just the people of Cornwall but Woodbury, New Windsor, Newburgh, Highlands, Washingtonville, Blooming Grove,” Skoufis says. “This is going to be a regional hallmark of health-care delivery in, right here at the Cornwall campus. And this is a long time coming for the residents who, as I noted during the press conference, have been long yearning for yesteryear here at the Cornwall campus.”
McGuirk outlines a few other planned additions.
“We’re going to do a full suite of imagine to support the primary care. We’re going to enhance our laboratory, blood products, and we’ll also add some aesthetics, some aesthetics reno… and registration, new registration, cafe” says McGuirk. “And I’m not kidding, I’m really, at one point in time, I’m probably going to need a grant for a parking garage because we’re going to be busy. And we are busy already.”
After much controversy, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital shut its emergency department in January 2017. Emergency services and hospitalizations were consolidated at the Newburgh facility, about five miles away.
“So now we made this an outpatient, transformational, redesigned facility, state of the art,” says McGuirk.
Cornwall Town Supervisor Richard Randazzo was born at St. Luke’s Cornwall.
“Third generation in Cornwall; as I said, my grandfather came over from the country about 115 years ago, a long time ago, but the hospital has been a staple. I call it a hospital and we always do. But it truly has turned into a real true health-care center for the communities and all,” Randazzo says. “And, when the hospital cut back on service, they closed the emergency room, a lot of people were nervous. But I had confidence. I had confidence in Joan; I had confidence that it would come back. And she’s met every expectation that we had. And I know opening up the primary care facility and having support services is going to mean an awful lot to the residents of Cornwall and the surrounding area.”
Again, Skoufis, who represents the 39th District.
“We stood at this very place a couple of years ago, announced this vision; this is the fulfillment of that vision. This is very exciting,” Skoufis says. “It’s going to be happening in the very near term, in the next year, year-and-a-half when it will be completed. And this is going to be a really tremendous place for health-care delivery in the Hudson Valley.”
Brendan Coyne is Village of Cornwall mayor.
“Well, it’s just wonderful that promises have been kept. I was a little concerned. I was part of the protesting, they were closing our emergency room. What did we have left? But, they’ve come around so well,” Coyne says. “And, as I said in my brief remarks, they have services here now that we didn’t have before, and they promised a lot more and it’s coming to fruition. So I couldn’t be happier. A lot of my people, my constituents come here and they think of it as our hospital, so I’m very proud.”
The Department of Health grant is part of the Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program.