Samaritan to receive $2.5M funding

Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Congresswoman Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, announced Friday afternoon that $2.5 million in federal funding will be allocated to Samaritan Medical Center.

For the announcement, Ms. Stefanik was joined by Samaritan’s president and CEO Tom Carman, who said the hospital was seeing a revenue loss of upwards of $250,000 a day in March and April. He also added that with this funding, the hospital is still looking at about a $15 million revenue loss by the end of the year.

The money will be used for everyday operations at the hospital, Mr. Carman said, and to bring back furloughed employees as volume increases.

“This is significant,” Ms. Stefanik said of the money, adding that many north country hospitals were facing, and are still facing, revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “What’s unique about Samaritan is we are unlike any other hospital across the country, very closely affiliated with Fort Drum as the only military installation in the country of its size that does not have a hospital on post. So, by definition, even though we are in a rural region, because of the population of our soldiers, Samaritan Hospital was designated as an urban hospital, and so was left out of previous rural federal funds designated in the CARES Act.”

After many conversations with Mr. Carman, and also with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Ms. Stefanik’s office was able to work directly with Samaritan as well as HHS to update and rewrite the formula, specifically focused on the unique challenges that rural hospitals like Samaritan face in the region.

“We prepared for the worst and we hoped for the best and we got somewhere in between. We’re so grateful for the support and the funding that’s finally come through for us,” Mr. Carman said. “All the hospitals across the nation received funding in the first general of funds, but then there was a pot of money for rural hospitals, and there were probably 55 or so hospitals in New York state and hundreds across the nation that received funding, but two of us were overlooked.”

To offset the severe revenue losses experienced at Samaritan, the hospital took drastic steps, according to Mr. Carman. Along with employee furloughs, cash preservation strategies were put in place, capital purchases were delayed, and the hospital suspended construction.

“This funding is helpful to us, but we still have a little bit of a hole to work our way out of,” Mr. Carman said. “It’ll allow us to ensure that we can make payroll, allow us to move forward. We will be bringing back some additional staff as the volume supports that, but we still need to be cautious because of the large deficit that we still see.”

Ms. Stefanik said she will continue to work to make sure that in future allocations, Samaritan will qualify for federal dollars.

With rural hospitals and community health centers being a part of the fabric of the community, the role of rural hospitals is important. According to Mr. Carman, they are the safety net for our communities.

“We are the largest provider north of Syracuse in between here in Plattsburgh, which makes it more unique and difficult for us,” he said. “But we also serve Fort Drum, so we’ve got a very unique position where we serve a large population in the three-, four-county area. We’ve got a medical staff of 160 doctors, with about 40 different specialty services that they provide to this community.”

The Congresswoman will visit Samaritan Medical Center on Thursday to highlight the new funding for the hospital but said she felt it was important to get the word out about the funding ahead of time. She stated that had there been no intervention and updating of the formula, there would currently be zero dollars in the rural funds.

“It’s really been a team effort, I want to echo what I said earlier and just thank the entire staff at Samaritan,” Ms. Stefanik said. “I know they have all been working diligently from the administrative staff to the doctors to the nurses to making sure that our patients and community have the best care, particularly during this pandemic.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(18) comments

LAW

Ease up, cowboys!

If Elise Stefanik wears a mask, and we can't see her lips move, how will we know when she's lying?

Holmes

Anytime the left is whining like this, you know it’s going to be a good day. Elise +14

Truthseeker

Trump -32,how many months until you and sis have your little elise

Nice_Commenter

Trump (who inherited $200 million) tweeted that he was the “victim” of six different things just this weekend.

Good to know you support the president who mocks the disabled.

Truthseeker

Tera Cobb would not have voted to take healthcare away from 20 million americans,let face it stefanik and trump are enemies to our country

progressivextian

It is just the typical pork handed out by politicians. Tedra Cobb would probably been allotted monies for Samaritan as well. In fact, with Democrats running the House, she would probably have gotten more.

zeitgeist

Did Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) folks explain to Stefanik that its financial survival is being compromised by the ongoing and out-of-control pandemic, the enormous surge of cases, the culture of no masks and no social distancing, the testing debacle, fast-track openings, Trump's inept leadership, etc.? Is SMC going to let Stefanik walk in with the money and walk out, continuing to advocate for GOP and Trump policies that undermine the control of COVID in NY and the U.S., ultimately undermining the fiscal health of SMC? Will SMC speak up for itself and public health and safety or take the money, stroke Stefanik, and diplomatically shut up?

SMC, Stefanik is not your friend. She's a self-serving politician with an attractive handout. Her COVID policies threaten your fiscal health and public health. You're willing to accept her handout in spite of her counter-productive COVID policies? It's an ethical dilemma you must resolve for your sake and the sake of the community you serve.

minder

[thumbup][thumbup]

Holmes

“Trump's inept leadership, etc.? “ NYS with over 400,000 cases, 25,000 deaths, 6,000+ of which were positive elderly that were forced to return to nursing homes and Trump is the ‘inept one’ You must have forgotten that NYS is totally Democrat controlled. I think I would start there regarding ineptness. Fact: Anyone praising Cuomo over his response to the corona virus, they are what’s wrong with America.

Nice_Commenter

Florida broke a US record with 15,000 cases today. New York flattened its curve months ago.

Too easy.

KRobbins

New York got hit first in large part because the Trump Administration didn’t share the news that the virus was coming from Europe. It spread because, as you may know, it’s really crowded in NYC: subways, sporting events, Broadway shows, crowds all over.

What is the excuse for governors of states where it’s spreading between people who live socially distanced as can be? “Trump told me to open up!” He’s not going to stand up for any of them, BTW.

We have a governor who listened to scientists and did a really commendable job. Would you rather he’d been listening to Trump blather about how “it’s 15 and it’s going to zero” or “it’s going away in February (now October)” or “it’ll go away when it warms up” or “maybe we should look at injecting bleach?”

Krsparks

This newspaper is an absolute disgrace. If you can't tell the real story, don't tell any of it. Steffie threw a toddler fit about Democrats holding up a bill in order to get hospital funding included. Steffie voted against healthcare for her constituents. Steffie voted against lowering prescription drug prices. Steffie likes to take credit for the work of others. This paper, and others like it, are the reason people are fooled by Steffie. Watch her actions...don't trust her words.

Holmes

Then don’t read it!

Nice_Commenter

You are a great example, for example you ignore the fact the economy has been in the toilet at the end of every Republican presidency of the last 40 years. Facts are so liberal, keep watching Fox News, it’s a great safe space for you.

Truthseeker

You forgot to mention how many times she voted to abolish Obamacare, which would have put this hospital out of business.This publication is gaslighting for the gop

KRobbins

Thanks 👍 !

Truthseeker

She was at a super spreader event in tulsa,not wearing a mask,and never quarantined ,and you are letting her come to your hospital, wow,poor management, and don't care about your patients,just a photo op,passing out deficit dollars

Truthseeker

Will she wear a mask,or will she be mask less like in tulsa.how much money from the payroll protection plan did she funnel into her parents business,are you ever going to let us know,or are you going to bury that

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