Saratoga Hospital hopes to build a new medical office center next to the main hospital campus.
Get the Full Facts Here.
WHY IS THE HOSPITAL PROPOSING A MEDICAL OFFICE CENTER?
We believe — and the doctors in our Saratoga Hospital Medical Group believe — a medical office center bringing our medical professionals closer together and located within walking distance of the hospital will improve patient care — for many different reasons.
Better consultation and collaboration: Gathered together in one location, our multispecialty doctors and their teams can more effectively consult and collaborate with one another. With today’s increasingly complex medical diagnosis and care, this collaboration is especially important and beneficial to virtually all of our patients.
Walking distance to our main hospital: The surgeons and specialists to be located in this office center are doctors who need immediate access to the hospital for emergencies and critically ill patients. Often, this can literally be a matter of life and death.
Bringing the best doctors to Saratoga: The people of Saratoga Springs expect and deserve doctors who are at the top of their profession. This is increasingly difficult for a community hospital when doctors are in high demand. Doctors want to work at a hospital that is committed to the highest standards of patient care. A medical office center proves that commitment.
IS THIS THE BEST LOCATION?
The hospital has invested significant time, energy and resources to explore different building options. The best, most cost-effective option is the empty land on Morgan Street, a short walk down the street to the hospital. It is the last piece of adjacent land available.
Careful financial analysis proves it is the most cost-effective building solution, all things considered. There are cost savings and other financial benefits to locating this building close to the hospital. Under current terms and conditions, financial benefits approach $2,000,000 — every year. That is money the hospital can reinvest in technology and patient care.
In today’s healthcare world, every hospital in every community must pay attention to how best to invest its resources. The risk to our community is too high to not make the smartest, most informed, financially wise decisions – for today, and the future.
WHO MAKES THIS DECISION?
The people you can trust to make the best decisions about providing medical care for our community.
- A highly engaged board of trustees. Each member is part of our Saratoga community, volunteering their time and expertise to guide the hospital’s most important decisions.
- Hospital senior management. This team brings years of professional healthcare experience and insight to their leadership roles.
- The Saratoga Hospital Medical Group. Our medical group represents more than 250 doctors, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants, many of whom would be located in this new medical office center. Our medical group believes the offices will significantly contribute to the quality of care they provide to our patients.
- The City of Saratoga Springs. For the medical center to become a reality, the City of Saratoga Springs City Council must provide the approvals needed for the office center. The hospital is working closely with the City to ensure every effort is made to address any concerns or issues raised about building on this site.
A HISTORY OF BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR.
Whenever the hospital has pursued a significant building project, we have done everything within our control to be a good, responsible neighbor.
The design we proposed in 2015 represents a well-designed, well-engineered, visually pleasing building, designed to complement the building next door. Our current plan is to build in the southeast corner of the Morgan Street land, buffered by landscaping, with controlled and focused lighting. Every aspect of this project will meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
We believe this medical office center on this empty land — land that will be developed by someone, one way or another – is the best option, enhancing people’s perception of access to healthcare in Saratoga Springs.
As a not-for-profit community hospital that has been taking care of this community for more than 100 years on Church Street, we hope you trust our good intentions to meet the growing needs of this community, and to make the best decisions for patient care now, and as we plan for the future.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW & WHY THIS REALLY MATTERS
- If the proposed city zoning map is approved by the City Council, Saratoga Hospital anticipates revisiting its Medical Office Center plans, to be located on the empty Morgan Street property, just up the street from the main hospital campus
- City Council will be voting later this year on the recommended zoning map changes
- A small group of vocal neighbors is working to delay or deny the zoning changes that align to the unanimously approved Comprehensive Plan
- After six years of city deliberations to get to this point, we believe it is time to move forward
We are Saratoga's Hospital
- We are a community hospital—a local not-for-profit community asset with a volunteer leadership board who cares deeply about this hospital and this community
- Our interest in this property is driven by what’s best for patients in Saratoga County—now and in the future
- These decisions are made by people who have the community’s best interest at heart
- A highly engaged Board of Trustees, members rooted in this community who volunteer their time and expertise
- A senior management team that brings years of experience and perspective to their leadership roles at Saratoga Hospital
- Saratoga Hospital Medical Group physicians, who believe this location fosters the essential collaboration—with the hospital and each other—that results in better patient care
This is the best location, from almost every perspective
- For the community as a whole, which will reap the long-term benefits of having more healthcare services close to the hospital
- For our patients, who will benefit from physician collaboration and the expediency of having many of their specialists under the same roof
- For our doctors, who can better collaborate and serve their patients
- For the hospital, which will have physicians within walking distance without sacrificing space on the campus for future critical care needs
- Even for nearby residents, who can count on a neighbor they already know—one that is responsive to concerns and offers less disruption than apartments or other higher-traffic uses
Patients benefit when doctors collaborate
- Medical care is multidisciplinary
- Patients with complex conditions—cancer, heart disease, diabetes—often need to see many specialists
- Locating our specialists and surgeons under one roof makes it easier for doctors to consult and collaborate
- Enhanced collaboration will improve patient care and outcomes
It will enhance attracting and retaining top medical talent
- The market for talented physicians is more competitive than ever, especially for smaller hospitals
- Many physicians prefer being part of a hospital-affiliated medical group whose members embrace collaboration and play a key role in defining how a hospital approaches patient care
- Locating many of our Saratoga Hospital Medical Group providers under the same roof will support this preferred, collaborative model
This is a smart, cost-effective use of this property— for maximum patient benefit
- We will gain the advantages of having Saratoga Hospital Medical Group physicians in close proximity to our Church Street campus
- In an emergency situation, when minutes matter, surgeons and other specialists will be able to get to the hospital almost immediately (now, many would have to compete with unpredictable travel)
- We will preserve the opportunity to renovate, upgrade or add space for the most critical care needs on the main hospital campus
- By moving physicians from other locations we will reduce leasing expenses by $750,000 per year
- The new offices would be within 250 yards of the hospital
- Care provided at the new location would qualify for higher Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements – increased revenue to be invested in patient care
- The idea of putting the medical office center on the parking lot across from the ED, was considered and dismissed
- This site would require building an 800-space parking garage to accommodate current and new parking needs at a projected cost of an additional $10 to $15 million dollars
- We cannot justify spending $10 to $15 million on a parking garage
When we save money, the community benefits
- Because we’re a not-for-profit, when we save money, the community benefits
- We are not a commercial enterprise, and this is not a commercial project
- We plan to structure the project in the most cost-effective way and, as always, to invest any savings to enhance patient care: technology, staff training, expanded programs and services, and other long-term patient benefits
This is the last piece of undeveloped land next to Saratoga County’s only hospital
- This project is essential to Saratoga Hospital’s long-term strategy to continue to meet the Saratoga region’s healthcare needs
- We serve the fastest-growing county in New York State—and have a responsibility to look to the future – that includes making sure we can grow to meet the needs of the entire community we serve
- It would be poor planning—and an abdication of our responsibility—if we did not pursue the last undeveloped property adjacent to our hospital campus
We have been taking care of our community at this location for more than a century
- Saratoga Hospital has been providing quality care on our Church Street campus since 1913, long before many of today’s homes and neighborhoods even existed
- Like the region we serve, we have grown to provide the access to services Saratoga County residents need and deserve
We are—and will continue to be—a good neighbor
- We understand and empathize with our neighbors’ concerns and have worked with nearby residents every time we’ve expanded on our hospital campus
- We will continue to work with the City and the neighbors to address every reasonable concern, and to meet or exceed every building requirement and regulation
- However, we cannot let the objections of a small group of nearby residents prevent us from doing what’s right for the region as a whole
- We do not believe the classic NIMBY “decrease in property values” objection is viable, especially when you consider
- This building will have medical professionals and support staff who would likely find walking to work appealing
- And for those who look to relocate and “age in place,” they would also find these offices close by appealing
- We do not believe the classic NIMBY “decrease in property values” objection is viable, especially when you consider
FACT vs. FICTION: The Truth Behind Saratoga Hospital's Medical Office Center Plans
Addressing Distortions from the Neighborhood Group
Leaders in this city are considering 18 changes to align the Saratoga Springs zoning map with the city’s Comprehensive Plan, as required by state law. One change could clear the way for Saratoga Hospital to build a medical office center near the main hospital campus. A small group of residents in the surrounding mixed-use neighborhood opposes that zoning change—and is spreading false information about the hospital and its plans. Saratoga Hospital sets the record straight on some of the neighbors’ most egregious false claims.
In a recent news release, the group—which calls itself Saratoga Concerned Neighbors—has said this about the proposed zone change: “… only one entity benefits…”
- Thousands of patients of all ages—from Saratoga Springs and the surrounding region, including the Birch Run community and beyond—will benefit from this latest investment to improve the quality of care provided by Saratoga County’s only hospital.
- Today’s patients increasingly need coordinated care from multiple specialists. Having cardiologists, oncologists, surgeons and other specialists in the same building, just up the road from the hospital, will make it easier for physicians to consult and collaborate. That improves care and outcomes.
- The rezoning is part of a comprehensive, multiyear effort, launched by the city in 2013 and discussed and reviewed at public hearings, workshops and other meetings.
In the same news release, the group claims the city seeks to rezone the Morgan Street parcel from residential to “commercial.”
The city seeks to change the zoning on the parcel from Urban Residential 1 (UR-1) to Office/Medical Business 2 (OMB-2) for “institutional use,” which includes religious, education, health, cultural and tourism services. The neighbors’ use of the term “commercial” is both false and inflammatory.
Again in its news release, the group charges that the proposed zoning change “violates the goals of the city’s zoning law and its comprehensive plan.”
The opposite is true.
- The city is required by state law to bring its zoning map in line with the Comprehensive Plan, which spells out the “future land use” of parcels throughout the city.
- The Comprehensive Plan designates the land off Morgan Street as “institutional.” The rezoning of that land to OMB-2 complies with the Comprehensive Plan.
Again, according to the neighborhood news release: “The neighborhood has been residential for generations” and “The character of the neighborhood will be permanently changed.”
- Saratoga Hospital has been serving the region from the Church Street location since 1913, long before most of the surrounding homes were built. The Birch Run homes and townhouses started being built 69 years later in 1982, despite neighborhood opposition.
- The hospital—and the Birch Run development—are located in a mixed-use neighborhood, home to apartments, single-family houses, condominiums, townhouses, Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga Golf and Polo Club, a dialysis center and The Wesley senior living community. There are independent medical offices located across the street from the entrance to Birch Run. Skidmore College is nearby. All of the nonresidential properties are compatible with institutional land use.
Again, according to the neighborhood news release, “The character of the neighborhood will be permanently changed, with a significant loss of green space; an adverse effect on wildlife …”
- The property is privately owned and will ultimately be developed. It will not remain as green space.
- The City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board considered a zoning change for the hospital on this property in 2015 and issued an advisory opinion to the City Council that the rezoning for medical offices was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. The board also issued a negative State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) declaration for the project, finding no significant adverse impacts for the construction of an 88,500-square-foot medical office building.
The neighbors repeatedly claim that having a medical office center nearby will negatively affect their property values.
There is no evidence to support these statements. Property values in the neighborhoods surrounding Saratoga Hospital have continued to increase as the hospital has expanded.
The neighbors’ news release cites “better alternatives.”
The hospital has explored every option, and the Morgan Street site is the smartest, most fiscally and medically responsible choice.
- It is the last piece of undeveloped land within walking distance of Saratoga County’s only hospital. It would be poor planning—and an abdication of responsibility—if the hospital did not take steps to secure that property to meet the healthcare needs of a growing region, including residents of the Birch Run development.
- The existing hospital campus is not an option. Space is at a premium there and must be reserved for inpatients and those who require the critical services that can best be provided in a hospital setting.
- Cost-savings are significant. Every dollar saved is a dollar that can be spent on patient care. To build a multilevel parking garage on the hospital campus, as neighbors propose, would add between $10 million and $15 million to the project cost. That would be upwards of $15 million that could not be spent on patient care, staffing, technology and other potentially lifesaving programs and services.
Neighbors repeatedly claim the proposed zone change was not made public.
- The Saratoga Springs Comprehensive Plan Committee developed the updated plan. According to the plan document, the product reflects “19 months of much dialogue and discussion including 19 public meetings, four public workshops, a 2-day open house and numerous focus groups.”
- The City Council then discussed the plan at four workshops in 2015 before voting unanimously on June 16, 2015 to adopt the plan.
- Here is a timeline of the process:
December 2014: The Comprehensive Plan Committee votes unanimously to redesignate this area for institutional uses, including medical office buildings.
June 2015: The City Council votes unanimously to approve the updated Comprehensive Plan.
- The City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board unanimously issues a negative SEQRA declaration, finding that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the 2015 zoning amendment that would have permitted the hospital to build an 88,500-square-foot medical office building.
- The Planning Board issues a unanimous favorable advisory opinion, indicating that medical office use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
April 2, 2019: The City Council votes unanimously to seek required advisory opinions from the Saratoga County Planning Board and City of Saratoga Springs Planning Board.
April 18, 2019: The Saratoga County Planning Board advances the project by voting 4-0 to approve the city’s request.
Now: The Planning Board is charged with providing an advisory opinion on:
- Whether the proposed revision is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan
- Whether the proposed revision is not contrary to the general purpose and intent of the applicable zoning chapter.
“The facts speak for themselves,” said Angelo Calbone, Saratoga Hospital president and CEO. “A small group of neighboring property owners opposes construction of a medical office center on an empty parcel of land close to the main hospital campus. By their previous votes, the Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Planning Board and the City Council have unanimously supported this use of the land.
“In our view, so do the overwhelming majority of residents of Saratoga Springs,” Calbone added. “We believe they recognize that this project, like every other Saratoga Hospital undertaking, has one goal: to save lives and improve the health of our community by providing the best possible care.”
ZONING APPROVAL TIMELINE
- 2013 – City Council approved updating the Comprehensive Plan
- 2015 – City Council unanimously approved the Comprehensive Plan; the approved plan included an “Institutional” designation of the Morgan Street property, allowing for a medical office center
- 2018 – City Council hired Camiros, a Chicago-based consultant to align the City’s Zoning Map with the approved Comprehensive Plan; this alignment is required by law
- March 12 – Consultant presented recommendations to the City Council for 18 parcels to be rezoned, including the Morgan Street property, retaining the “Institutional” designation
- April 2 – City Council unanimously voted to seek the required advisory opinion from both the County and City planning boards regarding adopting the recommended revised Zoning Map
- April 18 – Saratoga County Planning Board voted in favor of the Zoning Map recommendations
- May 2 – Saratoga City Planning Board meeting includes advisory opinion discussion without public comment
- May 16 – Saratoga City Planning Board meeting includes further advisory opinion discussion with public comment
- June 20 - Saratoga City Planning Board issued a positive advisory opinion for the Zoning Map recommendations
- June 27 - Saratoga Hospital Buys Land on Morgan Street for Future Growth
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
If you believe we should pursue our proposed Medical Office Center, here is how you can show your support:
Write to the Saratoga Springs Mayor and City Council. Before we can move forward with any project, the Mayor and City Council must vote on the recommended zoning map changes to align to the City’s approved 2015 Comprehensive Plan.
You can also send a Letter to the Editor to express your support:
If you have questions or would like to contact us directly:
From the desk of:
February 27, 2019
To our neighbors:
Many of you know that the Saratoga Springs City Council is concluding its work to align the city’s zoning map to the city’s approved comprehensive plan. This alignment, which is a state-mandated initiative, has been a long-term, citywide process, with open public debate and city council deliberation over the past four years. There have been newspaper articles written, neighborhood meetings and, yes, the upcoming decisions have our attention, too.
First, I want to say that I respect the right of all members of the community to be informed and to voice support or opposition for matters that affect all of us. I encourage that dialog. We all benefit from informed discussions.
The concept of a medical office building in close proximity and within walking distance of the hospital’s main campus, as was first proposed in 2015, is still of interest to us.
I believe it’s important to consider all of the facts, all of the issues, openly and objectively.
The Saratoga Hospital Medical Group: Better patient care
The Saratoga Hospital Medical Group is our multi-specialty group practice, a team of more than 250 doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants providing medical care in more than 30 specialties.
The working model of a hospital medical group is to provide a higher level of coordinated, collaborative care. The goal is to constantly strive to improve patient care. A strong working relationship between our hospital and its medical group is also a driving force to attract top-level talent to Saratoga Springs. That is a fact.
This model is further enhanced when medical offices are in close proximity to the hospital. Our medical group believes in the medical office project. It is recognized as a best practice, resulting in better patient care, especially for our patients with the most critical care needs at our hospital. That is not really up for debate.
Our medical office project: The best option in a complex environment
In order to have a constructive dialog about the medical office project we will likely be proposing, it’s important that we address the realities.
Committing a hospital’s main campus resources to meet the most critical care needs of our patients is recognized as a best practice in healthcare.
Yes, we have an obligation to this neighborhood. At the same time, Saratoga Hospital has an obligation to the entire community this hospital is committed to serving. The decision-making for our project rests with the City Council. The implication of those decisions impacts the greater part of Saratoga County and beyond.
Where we started
The most recent design presented in 2015 was modified based on public comments:
- A 75,000 square-foot building, expandable by 13,000 square feet
- West and south elevations were reduced from almost 59 feet to under 53 feet
- North elevation was reduced from over 55 feet to under 42 feet
- 300 parking spaces, approximately 90 for staff
- The 8.54-acre building site would include the office building, parking, and substantial greenspace with landscaping to reduce the visual impact of the project
- Full occupancy would take 5+ years
- Medical office rental space savings are projected at $750,000 per year
- Energy-efficient design will increase utility cost savings
- All savings will be committed to building costs and to patient care improvements
If the opportunity to revisit the medical office project becomes a reality, this would be our starting point, all predicated on how the revised zoning map unfolds.
Over the years, we have proven to be a good neighbor
One way or another, the assumption must be that the property at the top of Myrtle Street will be sold and ultimately developed. We do not own the property. Any other development options for the property are outside our control.
If the hospital moves forward, our objectives are clear. If another developer purchases the property, those objectives are also clear — to maximize profits.
If the hospital moves forward, we will be your neighbor. Over the years, we have proven to be a good neighbor, immediately addressing issues or concerns within our control, and finding or helping find solutions. Often, we have invested resources to resolve issues, which were outside our role or responsibility, because it was the right thing to do. Our door is always open.
If another developer purchases the property, any issues or concerns that may come up will likely become decentralized, perhaps even out of state. Finding the right door, and someone opening that door to listen and respond to an issue, will be far more difficult.
Listening and addressing concerns
Our current plan is to construct an energy-efficient, well-conceived, well-designed, and well-engineered building, tucked into the southeast corner of the property, buffered by landscaping, with controlled and focused lighting, and on-site stormwater management. Every aspect of this project will meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
Some have voiced concern about well-regulated issues such as blasting for foundation work. As we have stated before, this, by design, would be minimized and meet or exceed all local or state regulations. And as we’ve said, if there are any unforeseen property issues as a result of our construction, our door is open.
In my opinion, if another developer purchases the property, maximizing the return on investment may likely equate to a broader and denser housing project, and likely less willingness to compromise.
If any type of housing development goes forward, that new expansion of the neighborhood will be active 24 hours a day, seven days a week — evenings and weekends. Our project is planned for a limited time of specific weekday activity. After-hours lighting is required for security; this lighting will be dimmed and narrowly focused.
The hospital also promotes security on a different level. The hospital has 24-hour, seven-day-a-week on-campus security. Our security team patrols our main campus throughout the day and night. It is also true that, as a part of our normal operation, there is law enforcement present on our main campus — NYS Troopers, Saratoga County Sheriff, or Saratoga City Police presence. We believe this sense of security extends beyond our main campus.
Our project includes promised infrastructure investments. There has been a legitimate concern raised about traffic. We have and will continue to work with local and state authorities to address and manage traffic and safety — widening of Morgan and Myrtle streets where possible, sidewalks, street lighting, and traffic management, including new stop signs. I am not convinced another developer would readily address these issues.
If the hospital does not move forward with this project on this parcel of land, we may revisit the concept of building adjacent to the hospital’s main campus, on the hill on the west side of Myrtle Street where our current employee and visitor parking is located. If this concept were to move forward, we would still be bringing staff and patients to the main campus. If another developer purchases the land at the top of Myrtle Street and expands the neighborhood, that will increase traffic and compound the traffic concerns.
Building “on the hill” was fully explored and determined to be the less viable solution on many levels. Building on the hill would require constructing an 800-space, multilevel parking garage to accommodate the employee and visitor parking displaced by the new office building and parking garage, as well as for the additional parking needed for the new building.
In this scenario, all of the current parking demands would be dispersed throughout the surrounding neighborhood for upwards of two years during construction. This redistributed parking would account for hospital staffing and shift changes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Constructing a parking garage is estimated at $10 million dollars above the cost of the office building. We believe that would be an irresponsible use of the community’s resources, money that should be directed to patient care and patient safety.
Some have claimed that it’s all about money. Money is indeed part of the equation. It is no secret that healthcare costs continue to increase. Every hospital must be cognizant of responsible fiscal management. We live in an ever-changing healthcare environment. Payer variabilities and Medicare rules and regulations dictate that we must be accountable to costs and cost savings. Any hospital that does not pay attention to money, to identifying cost efficiencies and conscientiously optimizing revenue, runs the risk of failure. We choose responsibility over risk.
Some have voiced concern about property values. Our research does not support a negative impact on property values as the hospital has expanded. In fact, anecdotally, private listings and broker listings for homes or property for sale, or homes or apartments for rent in our neighborhood have promoted proximity to the hospital as a benefit.
What makes us Saratoga Hospital
Saratoga Hospital has been taking care of patients at this location for more than 100 years, well before there was a neighborhood to our north and east and west.
We know we are fortunate to be a part of this community. We do not take that for granted. We are successful because the people of Saratoga encourage, support, and trust us to deliver the best care possible. That is our job. And part of that job is to constantly evaluate how we can best meet the changing needs of the community we serve.
Our hospital is a nonprofit community asset, governed by a local board of trustees, a board of dedicated members of the Saratoga community who volunteer and dedicate their time, energy, and expertise to guide the decisions we make on how we provide the very best care possible for every member of our community.
Our management team is made up of healthcare professionals — clinical, technical, financial, operational, and infrastructure professionals — experts who bring years of experience from across the state and across the country to Saratoga Springs.
We are one of the largest employers in the county, with almost 3,000 employees, contributing to the economic vitality of our staff’s neighborhoods and local communities.
The demand on medical services we provide has grown
The entire Saratoga region has grown — one of the fastest growing regions in New York state. So has the demand on the medical services we provide.
We have reached out beyond our main campus to be closer to the people we serve. Examples include our Wilton campus, the Saratoga Community Health Center, our Malta campus, our regional therapy centers, and seven primary care offices across the greater Saratoga region — from Schuylerville to Mechanicville to Scotia-Glenville.
Our 20+ locations serve two broad purposes: outreach and access. However, the hospital’s main campus is the anchor, where the most sophisticated medical technology is located and the majority of our care providers take care of patients with the most critical needs.
Our capital investments on our main campus are already maximizing our main-campus footprint:
- The hospital’s expanded emergency department
- New state-of-the-art intensive care unit
- Ten new surgical operating suites
- Our expanded cardiovascular and interventional suite
- New on-campus infusion bays
- The Radiation Oncology Center
It is imperative that any space available on our main campus, including a tower concept above our emergency department and ICU, be protected for future demands on critical care services that can only be delivered in the hospital setting.
Finding the best solution
I hope I have provided a clear perspective of our motivation and our good intentions to provide the best possible healthcare services for the community we serve.
I know some will still be opposed to our plan for their own reasons. I also recognize that some will question every word, perhaps selectively quote what I have offered to you in this letter. But I hope any opposition is for the right reasons, all things considered.
Please be assured that we explore every option, every alternative to make the best long-term investment of resources required to be successful in meeting our public obligation. I hope we can all work together to come to the best solution for our friends and families, our neighbors, and the entire Saratoga community.
Angelo G. Calbone
President and Chief Executive Officer
Note: This email address is specifically for you to voice your concerns and, even, your support: AngeloCalbone@SaratogaHospital.org.
Saratoga Hospital Leases Former Sears Space at Wilton Mall
October 1, 2019
Saratoga County Planning Board Decision Could Boost Plan for Medical Offices Near Saratoga Hospital
April 19, 2019
Saratoga Hospital’s Vision for the Community’s Healthcare: Facts Matter
Saratoga Hospital is seeking to build a medical office center on the Morgan Street property we recently purchased, in close proximity to our main campus. This project reflects long-term strategic planning to meet the needs of a growing community in an increasingly complex healthcare world.
Several Saratogian news articles and published statements have included opinions on why this project should not go forward.
We believe this project has overwhelming benefits for our entire community. Our goal is to provide a healthy, sustainable community hospital by achieving the following:
Collaboration. Our doctors agree that having medical offices in shared space will improve patient care. Be it oncologists collaborating with cardiologists, or any other combination of specialists working together, the benefits of collaboration cannot be disputed.
Access. Minutes matter for critically ill patients. A patient who’s having a stroke or needs emergency surgery requires immediate attention. Reducing the time to get to those patients will save lives.
Talent. We want the best talent, and competition is fierce. Today’s medical professionals want to be a part of a hospital that has vision and works closely with medical leadership to strive for excellence in patient care. To prospective doctors and other health professionals, this medical office project underscores our commitment to the future.
Reduced expenses. We currently lease offices in five buildings, where we incur additional expenses to “fit up” the space to meet state requirements—at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. And, we are running out of room to grow programs and services to meet increased demand. Cutting costs frees more money to invest in patient care, including new technology, increased staffing, and expanded services.
Retaining reimbursement rates. When medical care is provided within 250 yards of the hospital’s main campus, we retain our current federal reimbursement rates. If a medical office is relocated outside that range, our community will lose the benefits of millions of dollars in federal reimbursements.
Our senior team and board of trustees considered every alternative. Only one location—the land we own on Morgan Street—provides proximity to the hospital and reserves space on the hospital campus for critical patient care.
Our plans for Morgan Street reflect our long-term, strategic focus on dedicating the hospital campus to services that must be provided in a hospital setting. It’s the same reason we are leasing the former Sears location at Wilton Mall, relocating IT and other support functions, and freeing much-needed space for patient care at Saratoga Hospital.
As the land-use review process continues, we will continue to be the good neighbor we’ve always been, working closely with the city to be as fair and responsible as possible to all concerned. That includes providing the facts about the future of healthcare for all of the people we serve.
Theresa M. Skaine, Chairperson
On behalf of the Saratoga Hospital Board of Trustees
This was submitted to the Saratogian and published on October 26, 2019.