As Oswego Health renews its Behavioral Health Services (BHS) facilities with assistance from a state grant for $13 million, it will also repurpose a long time vacant commercial building.
On September 27th, Oswego Health reached an agreement to purchase the former Price Chopper building at 29 E. Cayuga St., in Oswego and will completely transform the building to house renewed BHS inpatient and outpatient services, with future plans to add more health services.
“We are excited to be moving forward with this project,” said Oswego Health President and CEO Michael Harlovic. “It will not only improve our BHS services and facilities, but also allows them to remain close to Oswego Hospital, which is a critical aspect of this project as patients and their care givers frequently travel between these two locations. I also want to thank the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency for its support as they transfer this property to the health system.”
Oswego Health initially plans on renovating 32,000 square feet of the 45,000 foot building for its renewed BHS departments. The health system will build a facility that fits the neighborhood by adding green space and providing private, off-street access to the current building. It will also provide an anchor for employment within the city of Oswego, including more than 80 jobs. An estimated 25 jobs are also planned to be created as the services at the location grow.
Nationally, it is estimated that at any given time, approximately, one in five individuals has symptoms related to mental health. By developing modern, convenient and confidential services, Oswego Health is improving access to care for residents throughout the region who require these specialized services.
Oswego Health is the only comprehensive inpatient and outpatient BHS provider in Oswego County, since acquiring these services from Oswego County in 1981. In 2016, Oswego Health had 785 discharges from its BHS inpatient program. During that same timeframe, there were 20,000 adult outpatient visits.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the $13 million grant award to Oswego Health in July. The grant is part of the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program. This funding will improve patient care through the development of adult and geriatric inpatient services as well as outpatient services that are integrated with primary care.
Under the grant, Oswego Health is required to develop new BHS facilities. Currently, the health system provides care at the Oswego County Building on Bunner Street in Oswego, as well as other locations throughout Oswego County.
The health system will relocate its inpatient and outpatient BHS from Bunner Street to the new site on East Cayuga Street. Oswego Health board members and administrators have been communicating with Oswego City officials as well as county, state and federal legislators regarding the need to improve BHS services through the development of a new facility for inpatient and outpatient services.
“Oswego Health is grateful for the support of each local, state and federal official that has assisted in the development of the grant and the acquisition of this site,” Harlovic said. “We are eager to build a facility that physicians, staff and residents will be proud to call their own.”