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FEMA awards MVHS $1 million grant for COVID-19 costs

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) in Utica will use a federal grant of more than $1 million to help pay for costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo credit: Mohawk Valley Health System website)

UTICA, N.Y. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a grant of more than $1 million from its disaster-relief fund for the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) in Utica.

MVHS will use funding from this grant to help cover costs of the network’s emergency protective measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s according to the office of U.S. Representative Claudia Tenney (R–New Hartford).

“Focusing on key health practices such as testing, vaccine development and distribution as well as providing increased resources for health-care providers will help our communities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic faster and stronger,” Tenney said. “I’m pleased to announce this grant today, which will ensure the Mohawk Valley Health System can continue to provide quality care and address the many unforeseen costs it has incurred throughout the pandemic.”

MVHS serves Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison counties, providing care through its two hospitals, seven dialysis locations, one long-term care facility, and one home-care agency. Throughout the pandemic, MVHS conducted COVID-19 testing for its patients with suspected COVID-19 infections, nursing-home residents, and employees.

The activity required the health-care system to perform more than 21,072 COVID-19 tests throughout the first six months of the pandemic and form contracts with several laboratories. The grant will reimburse MVHS for any of these costs not already reimbursed by third-party insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

The funding was made available by then-President Trump’s March 20, 2020, declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a major disaster for New York State under section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act. An additional $45 billion from the CARES Act then supplemented FEMA’s disaster-relief fund on March 27, 2020, per Tenney’s office.

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