OSWEGO - Mayor Billy Barlow announced that Oswego Health received a $100,000 grant to assist with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Oswego Health, a nonprofit healthcare system, is the largest health care provider in Oswego County including two urgent cares, lab stations and medical imaging sites, a skilled nursing facility, several specialty practices and a main hospital campus located in downtown Oswego. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Oswego Health served as a major testing site for Oswego County, led local vaccination efforts, treated COVID-19 positive patients, and partnered with Mayor Barlow and community leaders on information dissemination efforts.
“Oswego Health led our community through the pandemic and served as a tremendous resource for all of Oswego County,” said Mayor Barlow. “Our grant funding today will help this key partner offset costs associated with responding to the pandemic and supports our frontline workers for all they did to protect our community when we needed them most. I thank our frontline workers and all employees of Oswego Health for being an excellent partner and working to bring quality, accessible healthcare to Oswego residents and working tirelessly to improve the health of residents in our community,” Barlow said.
The $100,000 in funding to Oswego Health comes from the city of Oswego’s American Rescue Plan $1.89 million allocation passed by the Federal Government earlier this year thanks to the strong advocacy and support from U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York. “Hospitals like Oswego Health and their essential workers continue to make incredible sacrifices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting public health above profit and working ceaselessly to help New York State beat back the virus,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I applaud the city of Oswego for using the American Rescue Plan funds to reimburse Oswego Health for its work battling COVID-19 on the frontlines.”
Michael Backus, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Oswego Health said, “This pandemic has changed the healthcare landscape both nationally and locally, however, there is an unwavering truth that keeps us motivated and that is that we are a part of a compassionate, strong, and resilient community with a collective desire to help. Oswego Health appreciates the collaboration from the city of Oswego and the leadership shared by Mayor Barlow. Together we rose to the challenge and met all obstacles with innovation, hard work, and success.”
In addition to offsetting costs created by COVID-19, a portion of the city funding will be used to fund a ride-sharing initiative for Oswego Health employees first established in 2019 from a $23,000 grant from the city of Oswego through the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI). Marq Brown, Vice President of Human Resources for Oswego Health said, “these past two years have brought financial restrains on many and as one of the largest employers in the city of Oswego, we certainly do not want affordable transportation to limit someone from working. We are encouraged by Mayor Barlow’s confidence in ride-sharing and we hope this offers our employees and those considering a healthcare career, an opportunity to improve their financial status.”
In addition to the funding to Oswego Health, Mayor Barlow and the Common Council previously committed $200,000 in funding to other local non-profit organizations in Oswego, $275,00 in grants to small businesses and $150,000 for COVID bonus pay for city employees.