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Montefiore in the News

January 27, 2020

By Daniel Axelrod |Times Herald-Record |@dan_axelrod | Jan 27, 2020 at 3:55 PM

CORNWALL – Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital executives announced their third expansion, in less than a year, on Monday, with local leaders hailing the news as hospital executives keeping promises to improve the facility.

Improvements at the Cornwall campus will include a new primary care unit, a radiological testing suite, multi-specialty medical offices, and an expanded lab-testing and blood-bank space.

The total project cost will be funded by an $11.9 million state grant, secured with lobbying from state Sen. James Skoufis, D-Cornwall. The funding will come from the state Department of Health’s Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program.

Daniel Maughan

On Monday, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Cornwall-on-Hudson Mayor Brendan Coyne each recalled attending a 2013 rally at the hospital, where they called on hospital executives to preserve and improve the facility.

Both used the same words, thanking hospital leaders for “promises kept,” while marveling at how far the facility has come from a time when they feared for its health.

“I was town supervisor (of Chester), running for county executive, and we were all part of this big ‘do not close the hospital’ rally,” Neuhaus said, shaking his head incredulously at the memory.

Now, the hospital’s success “definitely shows the county is growing,” he added. “The expansion means better service. That’s better for patients. They won’t have to go all the way to New York City for treatment.”

Skoufis credited the leadership of hospital CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk and the Bronx-based Montefiore Health System for turning around the facility. Its leaders previously announced $12.1 million in enhancement projects, between December 2017 and late March 2019 alone.

“It’s really an over-the-moon type of day,” Skoufis said. “The trajectory has been heading in a positive direction for a while now, but this is a game changer, and it makes due on promises that were shared a couple of years ago.”

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital joined the Montefiore Health System in an October 2015 merger, with Montefiore officially becoming St. Luke’s parent and co-operator in January 2018. Among other recent upgrades, last year, St. Luke’s unveilved a new $2.4 million kidney care center and a $1.7 million chronic care center, both in Cornwall.

Construction on the new improvements will likely begin in July with the primary care center. It will go in the former emergency department at the Cornwall campus, said Dan Maughan, the hospital’s chief operating officer. (Cornwall’s emergency department closed in October 2016, but the same department remained open at the hospital’s Newburgh campus).

Work on the other upgrades will begin within a few months of the primary care center, lasting for an 18- to 24-month period, before likely concluding sometime between March and September 2022, Maughan said.

No new buildings will be erected. Instead, existing space will be reallocated and improved, Maughan said. Hospital leaders have yet to finalize where the other project components will go on the Cornwall campus, how many more staff members will be hired, and exactly what medical specialties will be offered. But they have mentioned adding thoracic and gallbladder surgery.

“Now, this is a medical hub for the region, and we’ve held true to our promises that we’d transform health care and do it relatively quickly,” Cusack-McGuirk said.