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The Telegram
  • Health science center project receives county support

  • Herkimer County Community College’s effort to secure $1.5 million in state funding for the construction of a new Living Learning Health Science Center has received county support.

    The legislature passed a resolution Monday evening to approve a project that has a capital budget of $3 million, with 50 percent coming from the state and 50 percent coming from local sources.

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  • Herkimer County Community College’s effort to secure $1.5 million in state funding for the construction of a new Living Learning Health Science Center has received county support.
    The legislature passed a resolution Monday evening to approve a project that has a capital budget of $3 million, with 50 percent coming from the state and 50 percent coming from local sources.
    HCCC President Ann Marie Murray said the partnership between the college and Valley Health Services would provide an innovative collaborative living learning community that would complete the continuum of care for Mohawk Valley seniors while producing a credentialed workforce.
    “We’re excited to be able to increase enrollment of our existing health care programs,” she said.
    Nicholas Laino, vice president of administration and finance at the college, said previously if the college is unable to secure the local share, it will not be able to access the state funds.
    The academic program is part of the larger assisted living facility the college and VHS proposed in April 2012. The $3 million in funding the college is seeking, Laino said previously, is in addition to the $1.83 million awarded by the regional economic development council to VHS to develop supportive housing for seniors, while establishing a new health care education and training program at HCCC.
    Legislator Helen Rose, D - Herkimer, said Monday she thinks the project is a great idea.
    “I hope the college and Valley Health Services are able to secure the funding for this project, because this is something that is certainly needed in Herkimer County,” she said.
    “If this project comes to fruition it will be a win - win for Herkimer County,” said Legislator Gary Hartman, D - Herkimer. “It will be the first of its kind and will meet a definite need in our community.”
    Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono said the project will enhance the quality of life for seniors and students, and will meet present and future employment and workforce demands.
    “It’s an exciting project that has gained notoriety from the SUNY chancellor because it will create an assisted living facility for senior citizens that will also be used to train direct health care workers,” said Bono, R - Schuyler. “It’s a project the county is proud to be able to support, not only because it would be the first known facility of its kind on a community college campus, but because it would benefit all of our residents, young and old. I hope they are successful in securing the funding.”
    The overall project would create 24 full-time equivalent permanent jobs and 55 construction jobs. Facilities would include two buildings connecting 46 assisted living apartments for the care of seniors with classrooms and multipurpose training labs for existing and emerging health science programs.
    Page 2 of 2 - The project would also result in a projected $985,000 in Medicaid savings per year and a reduction in the projected shortage of nursing home beds for Herkimer County, as well as the creation of two new health science programs at HCCC — patient navigator and laboratory technologist.
    Murray said the facility would be built behind the college’s on campus athletic fields.
    “It’ll be close enough to walk to, but far enough away to have it’s own space,” she said.
    Murray added construction on the project will not begin until funding is secured.
    “We have to take care of our older population,” said Legislator Robert Schrader, R - Herkimer. “Every one of us going to grow old, so it makes sense to move forward with a project that will not only create jobs, but result in the operation of an assisted living facility.”

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