U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today revealed that Auburn Community Hospital will receive $2 million in the just announced end-of-year spending packaged to purchase essential medical equipment for cancer diagnostics and boost the expansion of the hospital as it breaks ground on its new state-of-the-art cancer center.
“Auburn Community Hospital will soon have a modern, state-of-the art cancer treatment center, and now thanks to funding we secured in the federal budget they will purchase lifesaving medical equipment –like a new PET-CT Scanner,” said Senator Schumer. “Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Cayuga County and this new center will be a one-stop shop to help patients get the top-notch care they need in their own community. I am proud to deliver this funding to Auburn Community Hospital so that our doctors can have the support they need and the people of Cayuga County can have the cancer treatment center they have long needed and deserved.”
“Auburn Community Hospital provides lifesaving care to cancer patients in and around Auburn,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Today, I’m proud to be delivering $2 million in funding to ensure that the hospital’s new cancer center can purchase the cutting-edge technology it needs to provide the best possible care. I’ll keep fighting to bring federal dollars to hospitals and health care facilities in Auburn and across New York.”
“On behalf of Auburn Community Hospital (ACH), and our community, we couldn’t be more appreciative of the hard work Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand put forth to secure this $2M appropriation. This funding will allow ACH to purchase state-of- the- art medical technology and make building improvements that will support our new Cancer Center. The new Cancer Center will provide necessary care for the leading cause of premature death in Cayuga County. The Center will provide essential care for the local community that they would otherwise have to travel long distances for and will increase employment. Senator Schumer understood the need and worked diligently to secure this appropriation”, stated Scott Berlucchi, President & CEO Auburn Community Hospital.
The senators explained that Auburn Community Hospital is building a new 12,000 sq. ft. cancer center that just broke ground last month. Currently, 80% of residents in Cayuga County have to travel greater than 25 miles for medical oncology services. This long overdue major expansion will add radiation oncology services and many other lifesaving cancer treatments and diagnostic services close to home for members of the community .
The federal funding Schumer and Gillibrand secured as a congressionally directed spending request in the FY23 budget set to pass later this week will help support and facilitate this new expansion. Specifically, helping the hospitals with key infrastructure and renovations like adding critical new parking spots to accommodate the increased patient load, as well as helping purchase a new PET-CT Scanner for pre-diagnostic testing. The PET-CT scanner will allow doctors, especially cancer surgeons, to determine the exact location of a tumor in relation to an organ or spinal column.
Schumer and Gillibrand have a long history of fighting for Auburn Community Hospital. Earlier this year, Schumer personally called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to help successfully secure over $3.4 million in long overdue federal funding to help the hospital make up from budget shortfalls from the pandemic after it had previously been held up in bureaucratic red tape.