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Massena Memorial Hospital officials cut ribbon at new facility

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MASSENA - Massena Memorial Hospital officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new medical office building that will soon house at least two hospital physicians, two hospital surgeons and two outside practitioners.

Located on Maple Street across from Massena Memorial Hospital, the new offices were opened but are not yet occupied, and MMH officials predict several doctors will be operating there within the next few months.

The new facility will provide space for MMH physicians Dr. Kejian Tang, a neurologist, and Dr. Ammar Kafa, a family medicine physician; MMH surgeons Dr. Rosalind Mariano and Dr. Suhil S. Daye; and outside practitioners Dr. Luis I. Canales and nurse practitioner Linda Letham, who works with Dr. Canales.

The new facility also has space for two additional physicians, and the hospital is currently seeking to recruit physicians to occupy the space, said Tina Corcoran, senior director of public relations and planning.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by approximately 160 residents, medical personnel and local government and economic development officials.

Addressing the crowd from within the atrium of the new facility, MMH Chief Executive Officer Charles F. Fahd II said the new facility will benefit both MMH and the community by allowing the hospital to offer new services currently unavailable in the area.

“The concept and need for this type of facility has certainly been questioned over the last year, but I believe this is a facility worth the cost. It will greatly assist us in our search for new physicians in the future,” Mr. Fahd said.

Supervisor Joseph D. Gray commended MMH officials for moving forward with the facility and pursuing efforts to bring new doctors and medical services to the community.

“Whenever we can provide up-to-date doctors, that’s a great thing not only for the hospital but for the community,” Mr. Gray said.

Trustee Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies said he’s pleased that the new facility will offer residents new medical services, eliminating the need to drive hundreds of miles to reach a hospital that does offer a specific medical service.

The facility includes a sunlit atrium, phlebotomy center, conference room and a waiting area. The facility is approximately 2,600 square feet, split into a ground level and a lower level, each with 10,300 square feet. The lower level has not been developed with floors or walls, but MMH officials hope to move ahead with utilizing the lower floor to house new physicians in the future.

The facility has been built into the slope of a hill, which will give the appearance from Maple Street of a one-floor structure to better fit in with surrounding buildings, hospital officials said.

Many aspects of the building, such as the skylights, wood panels and electronic fireplace in the atrium, were designed in order to create a comfortable, calming building for residents.

“Strategies were implemented to promote wellness throughout the building by reducing stress, by making services easily accessible and by increasing the natural sunlight within the building,” said Mark Brouillette, senior director of ancillary services. “Our goal has been to build a state-of-the-art medical office building where patients want to come, doctors and practitioners want to practice and support staff want to work.”

Mr. Brouillette could not provide an estimate for when the lower level may be developed, because the development of the lower level is contingent on how soon MMH is able to recruit physicians to fill the available space on the ground floor. He estimates the lower floor will cost close to $3 million to develop.

Ground was broken on the $3.9 million, 20,300-square-foot Maple Street medical office building in May of last year, and the project was in the planning stages approximately one year prior to that, Mr. Brouillette said.

The building was designed by King & King LLP, of Syracuse, and the work was handled by Northern Tier Contracting, Hyde Stone Contracting, Collins Hammond Electrical and Burns Bros Mechanical Contracting.

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