Friday, January 18, 2013

CEO of St. Mary's/Samaritan presents SPHP 13-year master plan to Troy IDA

TROY - The CEO of St. Mary's and Samaritan hospitals gave additional details about a 13-year $150 million master facilities plan, first announced in mid-November, during a presentation to the city's Industrial Development Authority Monday morning.

The plan will turn Samaritan Hospital on Burdett Avenue into the city's single inpatient hospital by 2023, while simultaneously transferring all outpatient services to St. Mary's Hospital, which would become the city's single outpatient and ambulatory care facility, explained Norman E. Dascher, Jr., CEO. The first relocation of services from Samaritan to St. Mary's will begin in 2013.

“The fact is, it's not sustainable to have two hospitals (in Troy) right now," said Dascher during the Monday presentation.

Presently, St. Mary's and Samaritan generally run at approximately 60 percent of their total daily bed capacity, and while the hospitals do not staff empty beds, it is not an efficient operation, explained Dascher.

“That's not sustainable, you can't run any business at 60 percent," Dascher said. Of the 390 inpatient beds in the city, the two hospitals have approximately 342 beds available, but only an average of 234 patients using those beds daily.

"Our solution is to have one single inpatient facility (...) and a separate and singular outpatient facility," Dascher said.

He also emphasized that both hospitals were built in 1919, and are thus outdated--and deteriorating--structures, and that neither hospital offers an ICU or emergency department robust enough to accommodation the entire community's needs.

A elevated view of a rendering of the new pavilion
and parking garage on the Samaritan campus.
(Provided by SPHP)
The changes at the Samaritan campus in the first two phases will centralize inpatient services at the hospital. This will include the construction of a new five-story, inpatient pavilion with an expanded emergency department, intensive and progressive care beds, and enhancements to cancer services, to be located next to the current Lally Pavilion. The new pavilion, to be completed in 2017, will be located where the current School of Nursing building is presently.

The first floor will be a new emergency room, the second floor will be an new intensive care unit, and the third floor will house a progressive care unit, The top floor will, initially, be shell space for new medical surgery beds.  

The pavilion will be accompanied by a 500-space parking garage in the existing parking lot for employees and visitors, with an expected completion date of 2015. When asked by the IDA board whether this new parking garage would be open to the public or members of nearby organizations, Dascher said it would not, although there is the possibility it could be used on weekends by attendees at baseball games at the nearby RPI's Robison Field.

A ground view of a rendering of the new pavilion
and parking garage on the Samaritan campus.
(Provided by SPHP)
Although SPHP officials approached RPI about the possibility of buying Robsion field, the Institute indicated they were not interested. The organization was also stymied in their efforts to acquire Beman Park, due to stipulations of provisions of park's deed to the city.

During the first phase, the School of Nursing, currently at Samaritan, will relocate to St. Mary's. Due to enrollment that has quadrupled since 2000 (with a waiting list of several years), the nursing school has outgrown its present facilities. In addition, outpatient endoscopy and outpatient oncology will move to St. Mary's, and the Samaritan pharmacy, currently located in the basement of the School of Nursing, will be relocated on the Samaritan campus.

Outpatient cancer center will relocate from the Samaritan to the the Seton campus, in what was previously Seton's maternity unit. In addition, outpatient endoscopy on both Troy campuses will move to Seton.

By 2023, all medical surgery beds in the city will be on the Samaritan campus. This will be followed by a relocation of the geriatric psychology unit, currently on the uppermost floor of the Samaritan tower, to Albany Memorial.

This transformation during the first two phases of the project, will take 10 years, over which time St. Mary's will continue to operate as an inpatient facility. The master facilities plan does not include any plans to utilize the former Leonard Hospital.

"The trend for private room is continuing for patient convenience and for infection control," said Dascher. Currently a quarter of the beds in the city are private, but after the conclusion of the project, approximately 60 percent of the beds will be in private rooms.

The plan will result in a workforce reduction at the two hospitals, however, said Dascher, that reduction is slowly being phased in through annual turnover in combination with offering open positions at the other three hospitals, at the Eddy and at the organization's various physicians.

The presentation was scheduled for the edification of the IDA board members. There is no indication, at this time, that SPHP will be seeking any sort of tax abatement or other financial incentive from the city.

Phase 1 (2012 - 2017)
  • $66.8 million in infrastructure and facility improvements, including the five-story pavilion on the Samaritan campus and 500-space parking garage.
  • Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, outpatient endoscopy services, and outpatient chemotherapy to the St. Mary's campus.
Phase 2 (2017 - 2023)
  • Interior renovations of top floor of new pavilion completed along with renovations of inpatient facilities at current Samaritan Tower.
  • Samaritan geriatric psychology unit moved to Albany Memorial.
Phase 3 (2021 - 2025)
  • Renovation and construction at St. Mary's of urgent care services, imaging, chemotherapy, radiation oncology, endoscopy, ambulatory surgery, laboratory services and various other ancillary services.
  • Detox and alcohol rehabilitation may transition to an outpatient service depending on need, with inpatient detox continuing at St. Peter's Hospital. Inpatient alcohol rehabilitation accommodated at St. Peter's Addiction Recovery Center in Guilderland.

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