CANTON — On Thursday evening, Jeffrey F. Haasbeek, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand surgery, used a pair of precision bone shears for a different purpose than usual.
Instead of cutting through bone, Mr. Haasbeek was charged with the task of cutting the ceremonial ribbon at St. Lawrence Health System’s Canton East Medical Campus, 6119 Route 11, which marked the official opening of the facility.
Mr. Haasbeek is one of many doctors, nurses and providers who moved into the new medical campus and began seeing patients in January, after construction of the building was completed in December.
The $23 million facility was designed to have a modern look, which mirrors the modern health care services it provides, according to Jorge C. Grillo, Chief Information Officer of Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
“We want to instill in people’s minds that it’s modern health care,” said Mr. Grillo, who oversaw the construction of the medical campus. “Health care today encompasses not just the doctor and the patient, but managing their health and the holistic view of health care.”
David B. Acker, president and chief executive officer of St. Lawrence Health System, was the keynote speaker at the open house. He said the new building’s central location in St. Lawrence County makes specialists in rheumatology, endocrinology and allergy more accessible to county residents.
“I think the facility has a significance that transcends the practices that are here. This facility, more than anything else, represents access,” Mr. Acker said. “People who used to have to drive three or more hours to access these kinds of health care services no longer have to.”
Tours of the facility were provided to attendees after the ribbon cutting, where they saw the array of medical services the new facility will offer.
Patients entering at the street level can register to see orthopedic and sports medicine providers at the main registration desk on that floor, and patients with appointments for specialists in allergy and immunology, endocrinology, otolaryngology, head and neck surgery including ear, nose and throat or rheumatology can access the top floor using an elevator or stairway.
The campus features separate staff entrances, shipping and delivery entrances and a large parking area. Additional parking for those with disabilities is adjacent to the main entrance.
“A strong health system brings people together,” Mr. Acker said. “It creates jobs and improves the quality of life of the people and that’s why we’re here. Different facets of a community makes us stronger together.”
St. Lawrence Health System is the umbrella organization for Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Potsdam, Gouverneur Hospital, and outpatient facilities in Antwerp, Brasher Falls, Canton, Colton, DeKalb Junction, Edwards, Gouverneur, Massena, Norfolk and Potsdam.
According to hospital officials, the company has more than 1,400 employees, including 130 full-time medical staff members, making it the county’s largest employer.