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Samaritan, River hospitals receive millions in state grants

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Two Jefferson County hospitals will receive millions of dollars in new state funding announced Monday.

The $6 million for Samaritan Medical Center and $1,444,695 for River Hospital, Alexandria Bay, were allocated by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as a part of the Vital Access/Safety Net Provider Program, which supports health care services in areas with aging and lower-income populations.

Samaritan spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said the funding will help the hospital cover the costs of its receivership of Mercy Care Center of Northern New York, and “ensure that we are able to continue the transformation of long-term care in our community.”

River Hospital officials could not be reached after the announcement late Monday.

A total of $56 million was allocated Monday, including $10.5 million for Nassau University Medical Center on Long Island and $14.8 million for the Northeast Center for Special Care, a residential facility in the Hudson Valley. Other awards were $11.3 million for Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island and $3.4 million for Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center in Brooklyn.

Gov. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have said that New York needs federal approval of its proposed Medicaid waiver, which would provide $2 billion annually for five years to help struggling hospitals cut capacity and admissions amid a shift toward more primary medical care.

“We’re at the point if we don’t get help the system is going to crash,” Gov. Cuomo said. “There will be closures, and it’s not necessary.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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