New Children’s Hospital to Attract Top Doctors to Area

By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)

I had the opportunity last week to attend the opening of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. The hospital is SUNY Upstate’s multi-million dollar expansion that has been in the works since the fundraising campaign first began in 2003. This is a momentous occasion, not just for the hospital but for healthcare, the future of healthcare in our region and the regional economy.

It was exciting to be there for the ribbon cutting and to read, hear and watch various news reports about the long-awaited opening. The two-story 71-bed children’s hospital is full of patient family amenities, including private patient rooms with furniture designed to give parents and family members a place to stay without leaving their child’s side.

The private rooms are more than 250 square feet larger than the hospital’s existing pediatric rooms, and increases the amount of space dedicated to pediatric care from 18,000 square feet to more than 87,000. Floors also contain numerous age-appropriate playrooms, family lounges, where parents and others can prepare meals. A family resource center will be available for families to learn about all sorts of health-related issues. The two-story “treehouse” entrance space located on the east side of the building is host to a café, solarium, performance center, chapel and an exhibit space. Patients are expected to move into the new facility Sept. 23.

The hospital’s service is already far-reaching. Last year, more than 2,900 children from 43 counties throughout New York were patients at University Hospital. The counties with the greatest pediatric admissions in 2008 are (in alphabetical order): Broome, 132; Cayuga, 178; Chenango, 42; Cortland, 56; Herkimer, 64; Jefferson, 136; Lewis, 30; Madison, 151; Oneida, 292; Onondaga, 1,283; Oswego, 272, Otsego, 18; St. Lawrence, 101; Steuben, 13; Tioga, 22; and Tompkins, 48. The healthcare outreach will only grow with the new facility.

The Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital was made possible by an unprecedented outpouring of philanthropic support from organizations, business and schools near and far which raised more than $21 million to build the facility from more than 8,000 donors. The top gift in the community fundraising campaign was a $6 million contribution from B. Thomas Golisano of Pittsford, N.Y.

The entire healthcare community stands to gain from this hospital. It’s been reported that top-of-their-class pediatricians want to come to Syracuse to work at the new hospital. Other healthcare professionals, as a result, will realize advantages to moving to the area. Also, the economy has already benefitted and will continue to. The Central New York Magazine reported that, according to the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, the project construction stimulated the local economy by $420 million. Staffing the expansion adds $33,000 a day to Upstate’s payroll and creates 250 to 300 jobs.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.