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MVHS CEO Stromstad discusses downtown Utica hospital groundbreaking

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

Says project is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”  

A rendering of Mohawk Valley Health System’s (MVHS) upcoming downtown Utica hospital. MVHS on Dec. 12 held a groundbreaking for the hospital’s construction. (Rendering credit: Mohawk Valley Health System)

UTICA, N.Y. — Less than a year after starting work as president and CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), Darlene Stromstad was leading a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of a new hospital.

“A project of this magnitude that promises to be so transformational is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it happens only because leaders have the vision to see beyond what is to what can be,” Stromstad told the gathering on Dec. 12. MVHS streamed the Utica event on its Facebook page.

The new hospital will be a $480 million, 373-bed, 672,000-square-foot, nine story facility. Its campus will also include a central utility plant and parking garage on 25 acres, MVHS said in a Dec. 12 news release.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people and organizations and I am so excited to be here today breaking ground on our future medical center,” Stromstad said, according to the release. “This medical center will not only transform the way we deliver health care to this community, but it will help continue the redevelopment and resurgence of downtown Utica. Health care is a rapidly changing industry and it’s crucial for a health system to keep up with the advancements being made so that we are able to deliver the best care possible. This new facility will give our wonderful employees the space and technology needed to provide the state-of-the-art care that is needed in our region.”

MVHS previously said that it expects crews to complete the project by 2022.

As her remarks at the groundbreaking event, Stromstad also acknowledged the work of Robert Scholefield, who is executive VP of facilities and real estate at MVHS.

“He lives and breathes this project along with Sharon Palmer, our vice president of support services. There is not a detail about this project that these two people don’t know,” said Stromstad.

She also thanked Mohawk Valley EDGE, the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, the Genesis Group (a Utica civic organization), and the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties Inc.

Darlene Stromstad

Stromstad touted the project location and how it could spur economic development.

“This location provides accessibility to our patients who travel here from over three counties. And it also serves as an economic driver for the downtown [area],” Stromstad noted in her remarks.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin–based Hammes Company is the project-management company for the new hospital project. Gilbane Building Company, which is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, is the construction manager. Seattle, Washington–based NBBJ is the architectural firm designing the facility.

CHA Consulting, Inc., an Albany–based engineering consulting firm, is evaluating the potential repurposing of the existing hospital buildings. The firm is conducting an evaluation of the potential reuse of all three campuses (Faxton, St. Luke’s, and St. Elizabeth).

It’s anticipated that the Faxton Campus will stay open and continue to house the MVHS Cancer Center, urgent care, outpatient dialysis, outpatient rehabilitation, and other ancillary services.

CHA’s report and recommendations are due early in 2020, MVHS said.

Moving services

MVHS says it plans to move all inpatient acute-care hospital and emergency-room services — currently available at the St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth campuses — to the new hospital. This will include emergency services, trauma services, radiology and clinical laboratory services on the first floor.

The second floor will include an “surgical innovation center” (operating rooms), cardiac catheterization and interventions, electrophysiology labs, interventional radiology, and endoscopy.

In addition, the new hospital will have critical and intensive care on the third floor, maternity and a special care nursery on the fourth floor, intermediate care on the fifth floor, medical and surgical services on the sixth and seventh floors, pediatrics and medical and surgical services on the eighth floor, and behavioral-health services on the ninth floor, per the release

MVHS also notes that the services on each medical and services floor — such as orthopedic care, heart services and specific surgical specialties — will be “further defined as the building project progresses.”