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St. Joseph’s Hospital breaks ground on expansion

Members of the St. Joseph’s Hospital board of directors and donors break ground on Phase Two of their expansion project, a new six-story building downtown.

Members of the St. Joseph’s Hospital board of directors and donors break ground on Phase Two of their expansion project, a new six-story building downtown. Joe Genco

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center held a ground-breaking ceremony today to start “Phase Two” of its planned expansion project.

The hospital will construct a six-story building at the corner of East Laurel Street and Prospect Avenue in Syracuse. adjacent to the main hospital building. The new building will include a new surgical center and an expansion of the hospital’s anesthesiology department, said Kathryn Ruscitto, chief executive officer and president of St. Joseph’s.

The project was funded by a $2.5 million dollar economic development grant from New York State as well as money raised by private donors.

State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah was present for the ceremony and commended the hospital for reforming and improving healthcare in New York.

“Governor Cuomo and I are committed to changing the healthcare system to make it more responsive to our patients’ needs and this is a shining example of what we need to see,” Shah said.

The project will also bring more jobs and more money to Central New York.

This is one of the first major projects planned and funded by the Central New York Economic Development Council, said Ken Adams CEO of Empire State Development, an economic development agency that works with the state government. The council is one of many regional councils established by Gov. Cuomo that are beginning a five-year development plan to create economic growth and new jobs across the state, and healthcare is a large part of that, Adams said.

“All across the state, well-run, competitive, thriving healthcare institutions are major regional economic drivers in terms of investment, employment, economic spin-off and multiplier effects,” Adams said.

The construction of the building, which is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete, will employ 400 construction workers, and the completed facility will create 150 permanent jobs, Adams said.

St. Joseph’s expansion project started in 2005 with improvements to a number of facilities including its emergency room and a new parking garage. The new building for Phase Two is the largest and most expensive part of the project.

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