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AHMC holds groundbreaking for new facility

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MALONE - The large space that will soon be home to the Alice Hyde Medical Center Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility was alive with activity Friday as construction workers continued to prepare the land for building.

However, for a short time work stopped and equipment sat idle as medical center officials gathered next to the area – located behind Citizen Advocates off of Park Street – for the new facility’s official groundbreaking. Present were Franklin County legislators, Malone village and town officials, state Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, R-115th District, and state Sen. Betty Little, R-45th District, and representatives from PC Construction – responsible for building the facility. Once complete, the facility will combine AHMC’s nursing home with the county’s.

“As you can see, we’ve begun building the future of specialized care ... for the elderly in our community,” said Doug DiVello, AHMC’s president and CEO, adding that it has taken six years to get to this point.

“This is really underway and it’s exciting to be here,” said Ms. Little, adding that change for a community is sometimes difficult. “It’s always difficult to get everybody together when there’s change. Working together is something that has really happened here.”

State Senator Little was referring to the coordinated efforts between past and present county and medical center officials to create this combined facility.

“This is something that is going to be very attractive and a model to other counties,” she said.

“To think that here in Malone we’re going to have an absolute state-of-the-art facility is incredible,” Assemblywoman Duprey added. “Assisted living is such a need.”

The facility will included 135 nursing home beds and 30 assisted living beds. Franklin County currently does not have assisted living, and Mr. DiVello has said in the past that there are patients currently in the nursing home that should be in assisted living.

“We’re going to put the shovels in the ground today, but I can hardly wait to come back and walk through the doors,” Assemblywoman Duprey said.

Billy Jones, chairman of the county Board of Legislators, D-Chateaugay, noted legislators have worked with medical center officials over the past six years.

“Some very tough decisions were made by all these people,” he said. “We came together and we did it right. This is a model for everyone around New York state. It’s a public-private partnership that works.”

Mr. DiVello said in the past that the facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, provided that construction does not hit major snags. The building is set to cost $35 million. DiVello said the county will contribute $1 million per year for 10 years.

AHMC also received $9.3 million in state funding; the rest of the money will be borrowed.

Amenities for the new facility include the nursing home being separated into “neighborhoods” with between 12 and 28 beds each, country kitchen-style dining rooms, and a large social space for each neighborhood. The nursing home will also have an atrium and a courtyard.

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