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State Sen. Ritchie secures $100K for regional health planning agency

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State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, announced Wednesday that she has secured $100,000 in special funding for the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization.

According to a news release from Mrs. Ritchie, the funds will “help strengthen the local health care system in the communities around Fort Drum and support the continued growth and expansion of the post.”

“FDRHPO plays a vital role here in the north country, supporting our troops and their loved ones by ensuring they have access to quality health care,” she said in the release. “I’m pleased to be able to secure this funding, which represents an investment in the post and shows the state’s commitment to protecting and strengthening Fort Drum.”

FDRHPO Executive Director Denise K. Young said in the release that Mrs. Ritchie and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo “understand the critical mission of our north country health care system to meet the needs of our soldiers, their families and the civilian residents who support them.”

Funding will help the region coordinate care, recruit a workforce and implement health information technology, all of which the agency does. Calls seeking comment from Mrs. Young were not immediately returned Wednesday.

FDRHPO was formed to build cooperative health care arrangements between military installations and regional health care systems. Board members include representatives from the post, hospitals and other care facilities. The nonprofit has grown from an initial $15,000 grant in 2006 to having become involved in more than $105 million worth of initiatives.

For more about the agency, visit www.fdrhpo.org.

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