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Sitrin plans military treatment facility

By Journal Staff

Date:

An artist’s rendering of the new Military Rehabilitation Program treatment center on the Sitrin Health Care Center campus in New Hartford.NEW HARTFORD — About a year after launching its Military Rehabilitation Program, Sitrin Health Care Center unveiled plans to build a treatment center on its Camp Sitrin campus where members of the military can receive treatment in a holistic environment.

Sitrin began the program in November 2011, says Jacqueline Warmuth, director of clinical rehabilitation services at Sitrin. It took Sitrin several years to develop the program after it learned of the need for treatment options for soldiers returning from overseas conflicts. Many soldiers are sent to Texas for treatment due to a lack of treatment options in the Northeast, Warmuth says.

Sitrin’s program treats military members for post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, post-acute substance abuse, and other combat-related conditions. Many times, Warmuth notes, these are “hidden injuries” because the person may look perfectly fine on the outside. But for many soldiers who have served in combat zones, something as simple as dining in a restaurant can become nerve wracking with even the innocent sound of dishes clattering, she says.

Sitrin currently treats program participants both on an outpatient basis and through its inpatient rehabilitation unit. The problem, Warmuth says, is that the unit has only 46 beds, which are typically filled on a daily basis with orthopedic patients, those who have suffered strokes, and others requiring short-term rehabilitation.

“On a daily basis, we might have one bed open” for military-program patients, she says.

The proposed $6 million treatment facility will take care of that with 31 beds in a facility located on the 142-acre Camp Sitrin property on Graffenburg Road in Frankfort. The treatment center will focus primarily on providing care to military members, but will also provide care to non-military members with similar problems.

Along with patient rooms, the treatment center will also feature a dining facility, conference rooms, and both group and individual-treatment space.

The most important feature, Warmuth says, may well be the environment that will surround the treatment center. With a 10-acre lake, room to hike, and even an option to ride horses, Camp Sitrin will provide a serene environment to help patients heal, she says.

“The environment they’re in makes such a huge difference,” Warmuth notes. In addition, with physical fitness playing such a huge role in the military, it’s important that Sitrin can offer physical activity as well as other treatment options so it is treating patients as a whole, she says.

Sitrin has just begun fundraising for the project, and kicked things off with its inaugural Stars and Stripes Run/Walk on Sept. 29 at SUNY Institute of Technology. More than 500 people participated in the event, which raised $70,000 for the project.

“We are overwhelmed by the support from the community,” Rosemary Bonacci, Sitrin’s vice president of development and communications, said in a news release about the event. “Realizing what our nation’s heroes do for us each day, it’s our turn to give back and provide them with the best care possible.”

While Sitrin was able to raise funds for the project through the Stars and Stripes event, the organization hasn’t launched a formal capital campaign yet, Bonacci says. She expects to announce such a campaign in the near future.

The new treatment center will be the fourth phase of a six-phase, $68 million master plan at Sitrin. The first three phases included the construction of Sitrin’s Cedarbrook Assisted Living facility, building nine long-term-care homes, and enlarging and renovating Sitrin’s medical rehabilitation unit.

The fifth phase will include building a new equine-assisted therapy center, while the final phase is the construction of a new athletic training facility.

Charles T. Sitrin Health Care Center, Inc., (www.sitrin.com), headquartered at 2050 Tilden Ave., New Hartford, provides long-term care, comprehensive medical rehabilitation, independent senior living, enriched housing and assisted living, residences for people with developmental disabilities, adult day health care, adaptive sports, child care, wellness classes, the military rehabilitation program, and summer day camp.

The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit reported revenue of $23.8 million and expenses of 

$24.3 million, according to its 2010 Form 990 on file at www.guidestar.org. The organization employs just over 600 people, according to its Form 990.       

 

Contact DeLore at tdelore@tmvbj.com

 

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