Updated 11/13/2012 05:07 PM
Major expansion planned for Canton-Potsdam Hospital
It's health care on all levels, from inpatient to follow-up care. A new multi-million dollar facility expansion to Canton-Potsdam Hospital is expected to provide just that. The new facility will house urgent care and a primary care clinic. Our Barry Wygel tells us why the hospital is expanding its services.
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POTSDAM, N.Y. -- The Affordable Care Act is changing the health care system. Instead of focusing on treating people when they get sick, there is an increased emphasis on keeping people healthy. That reasoning is partially behind Canton-Potsdam Hospital's proposed expansion.
"You're going to see more and more of these primary care facilities needing to be the focal point upon which the transitioning is occurring," said David Acker, president and CEO of Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
To satisfy increasing patient needs, the hospital is planning to build a new urgent care facility and a new 10 provider primary care clinic.
"St. Lawrence County has the lowest or close to the lowest in the state population to primary care physician ratios, so primary care is a crying need," said Acker.
The hospital's expansion will be built on the hospital's second campus on Lawrence Avenue in Potsdam.
Acker says that while patient demand for new services is always high, it is sometimes hard to recruit doctors to rural areas. To counteract this, the hospital has entered a partnership with Clarkson University.
"The Clarkson P.A., program which started a year ago, we view as an integral component to meeting the primary care needs of this area. We've partnered with Clarkson in how to best fill that void," said Acker.
The expansion will also make the hospital more of a one stop shop, allowing for more coordinated patient care. Not only will doctors be on site, but social workers and other professionals, so patients can schedule all follow-up care without leaving the building.
Construction is set to begin before the end of the year, with an opening planned for next fall.