State grant monies and generous community donations of $1 million have breathed new life into Putnam Hospital’s Birthing Center.
Following the temporary suspension of delivery services in the Birthing Center in March, renovations to the unit recently began in preparation for a reopening sometime in the next few months.
The upgrades are being partially subsidized through three major sources totaling $1 million. These include a $500,000 state grant secured by New York State Sen. Peter Harckham, $250,000 from the Kearney Realty and Development Group and $250,000 from the Putnam Community Foundation.
The $500,000 state appropriation, funded through the Community Local Community Assistance Program (CLCAP), will help ensure continued access to maternity care for thousands of greater Putnam County residents while also offsetting roughly 25 percent of the renovation’s projected cost.
“This community hospital is one of the most important assets in Putnam County, but without a Birthing Center it cannot be viable,” said Harckham. “The newly renovated Birthing Center will allow for new revenue streams to help the hospital financially, and also create new memories for countless families. I was happy to step in with state funding to help make this new center a reality. When open, community residents will not be inconvenienced or put at risk by needing to travel for critical procedures and checkups.”
“Putnam Hospital is the only hospital in Putnam County, and it is so important to our community,” developer Ken Kearney said. “The renovation of the Birthing Center is a first step toward a new future for Putnam Hospital — and an impactful one. Throughout people’s lives, they will be asked, ‘Where were you born?’ and I want members of our community to be able to say they were born in Putnam County.”
In addition, the Putnam Community Foundation committed $250,000. The foundation’s chairman, Joseph DiVestea, and his family have been longtime supporters of Putnam Hospital.
“Putnam Hospital has always provided quality care for our family and that started with the birth of both of our children at the Birthing Center,” both DiVestea and his wife, Corrinne, said. “We felt with the recent temporary closing of the Birthing Center, we were happy to help bring back the care our community deserves.”
Harckham, Kearney and the DiVesteas recently joined Putnam Hospital President Dr. Mark Hirko for a tour of the Birthing Center to check out the renovations underway. Some refurbishments include dimmable LED light fixtures and new procedure lights in the Labor, Delivery and Recovery rooms, HVAC system upgrades, as well as décor and ambience improvements throughout the unit.
The 12,000-square-foot Birthing Center will feature seven patient rooms, two on-call suites, operating room, scrub room, nurse station, waiting area, well baby nursery, conference room, staff lounge and medication room. Estimated costs for the renovations are between $1 million and $2 million.
“We are so grateful for the support of our community partners in helping to bring back a vital service in Putnam County,” Dr. Hirko said. “This is an invigorating start to the future growth and success of maternal care in our region.”
Learn more about Putnam Hospital.