DOH Provides $17.8 Million for Lee Memorial Transition

Commissioner, Sen. Aubertine Announce Deal to Preserve Health Care in Fulton

FULTON, N.Y. (April 9, 2009) - State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., announced today that the state will provide $17.8 million in grant funds to preserve health care services at the A.L. Lee Memorial facilities in Fulton. The Commissioner made the announcement at City Hall with state Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, who worked with the State Department of Health (DOH) to secure the funding, and Ann C. Gilpin, president and CEO of Oswego Health.

Commissioner Daines added, "Today's announcement sets the stage for high-quality health care to remain in the community, under a unified governance with Oswego Hospital, that will help stabilize the health care marketplace and allow people to receive needed health care services right here in Fulton. This builds on Governor Paterson's plan to expand access to quality health care by expanding community-based care."

"The Department of Health, under the leadership of Commissioner Daines and Governor David Paterson, and Oswego Health recognize the needs of the people in and around Fulton," Senator Aubertine said. "Maintaining quality services at the A.L. Lee Memorial campus is critical to meeting the health care needs of people throughout Oswego County. This infusion from the Department of Health will allow Oswego Health to have a smooth transition in providing quality health care in Fulton."

The $17.8 million will allow Oswego Health to take over the facility at A.L. Lee Memorial and make the necessary changes to turn the facility into an Urgent Care Center for non-emergency conditions that require immediate attention. The facility will provide the people of Fulton and southern Oswego County with urgent care, radiology, laboratory work, and occupational therapy services initially, with the intention of expanding services over time.

"On behalf of Oswego Health, I would like to thank State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines, as well as State Senator Aubertine for this funding," said Ann C. Gilpin, president and CEO of Oswego Health. "Without this legislative support, along with that of the Oswego Health boards, and the community, we would not be able to achieve our mission, which is to provide excellent health care services. We know this has been a difficult time for the residents of the City of Fulton and Southern Oswego County, and we look forward to working with both communities to meet their health care needs."

The Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the Berger Commission, had recommended that A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital be closed because Oswego County Hospital, only 12 miles away, is larger, more modern with more services than A.L. Lee. Oswego Hospital was also in better financial shape. However, the Berger Commission also recommended that an urgent care facility be established in Fulton.