Adirondack Health Moves Forward with Transformational Capital Projects
The proposed Medical Health & Fitness Center to be constructed on the Uihlein campus in Lake Placid
New Surgical Services Department, Medical Health & Fitness Center
to Serve Future Health Needs Adirondack Region Residents and Visitors
SARANAC LAKE, NY – Adirondack Health, the only full-service health system in the Adirondack Park, is moving forward with transformational plans to renovate and construct additional space for new and expanded services in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
The $33 million capital improvement project positions Adirondack Health to best serve future healthcare needs of residents and visitors throughout the region. The last major expansion and renovation campaign for the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake sites, which began in 1999 and was completed in 2001.
Plans for Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake
The first project replaces the 1960s-era Surgical Services Department at Adirondack Medical Center with modern facilities to match the skills of our world-class surgical team. The new facility places patient comfort and convenience at the forefront, and supports a growing need for surgical services with six new operating suites and a permanent MRI offering patients a more open experience. These renovations will better accommodate patients and the new technology and equipment available to the skilled surgeons and medical professionals at AMC. The new operating rooms will increase the number of cases performed each year by 2,000, enhancing the ability to serve more patients in a timely manner.
“First and foremost, the modernization of our surgical services department places the patient at the center of care, but also from a business perspective allows Adirondack Health to respond to a growing need for outpatient surgical services.” said Chandler Ralph, President & CEO of Adirondack Health. “It’s the right project at the right time for the Saranac Lake campus as it supports a growing service line, and assists in recruiting new physicians.”
Plans for Lake Placid Location
The second project focuses on Lake Placid and the creation of a Health and Medical Fitness Center on the Uihlein campus. All of the primary care services currently offered at the Church Street location will move into the new facility, including a brand-new emergency department, Lake Placid Sports Medicine, the Dental Clinic and offices for part-time and visiting specialty care providers. In addition to providing a broad range of healthcare services on one campus, the Medical Fitness Center will have space for new programs to support local and elite athletes who are an integral part of the Lake Placid community. The focus will be on preventive care; rehabilitation, sports medicine, fitness and wellness programs.
“This project, like the one in Saranac Lake, contributes to the vitality of a strong and healthy community so that those who live in and visit our region can fully enjoy all it has to offer,” said Ms. Ralph. “In addition, these new facilities are the kind of visionary healthcare leadership needed to address the reality that future healthcare funding will flow to those organizations most successful at keeping people well with proactive and preventive services.”
Following approval by the Adirondack Health Board of Trustees, both capital projects have been submitted for New York State Department of Health approval and we hope to break ground in 2016.
CEO to Retire After Leading Projects
In addition to the changes occurring at ground level, Adirondack Health announces President and CEO Chandler Ralph’s decision to retire in 2016. She will continue to oversee the launch of these two projects while the Board of Trustees conducts a national search for her successor, allowing for a seamless transition.
During her 20 years at Adirondack Health, Ms. Ralph has overseen significant expansion of new facilities and additional services. She guided the organization through an $18 million building and renovation project on the Adirondack Medical Center campus completed in 2001, the acquisition of two area nursing homes, and the opening of medical office buildings in Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake. Under her leadership, Adirondack Health continues to surpass state and national standards for exceptional, high-quality care as well as patient and nursing home resident safety.
Other highlights during Ms. Ralph’s career at Adirondack Health:
- Creation of a dialysis unit at AMC in Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake
- Opening of the Colby Center for Behavioral Health Services at AMC in Saranac Lake
- Launch of the Bariatric (Weigh Loss) Surgery Program
- Establishment of the Tri-Lakes Uninsured Task Force
- Creation of a mobile dental clinic for under-served areas
“It was a dream come true when I received the opportunity to work for what was then Adirondack Medical Center,” said Ms. Ralph. “Looking back over the years at what we accomplished with so many amazing and talented individuals, it has been an honor to lead such a unique organization in a community like no other. As complex as healthcare can be, I’ve always been guided by doing that which is best for our patients and living center residents – they are the reason we’re here.”
Prior to joining Adirondack Health, Ms. Ralph was a senior manager in the Health Care Operations Consulting Group for Ernst & Young from 1986 to 1990. From 1990 to 1995 she served as President & CEO of Mercy Hospital in Watertown, N.Y., guiding the organization through Chapter 11 re-organization into a financially sound 300-bed nursing home with diagnostic and treatment services, primary and urgent care, a renal dialysis center and inpatient mental health and alcohol treatment beds.
About Adirondack Health
With more than 100 years of history, Adirondack Health is the only full-service health system in the Adirondack Park. It is the largest private employer within the Blue Line with 860 employees, and has an annual regional economic impact of $145 million.