A long-awaited Rochester Regional Health medical campus has opened in Geneseo. The new campus is billed as a one-stop facility that offers nearly one dozen new and existing specialty services.
“We’re proud to play a larger role in serving Geneseo and the surrounding communities, creating a more convenient pathway for residents in the Southern Tier to access medical care all under one roof,” said RRH President and CEO Eric Bieber M.D. “By integrating primary and specialty practices in one location, patients will receive purpose-built health care where and when they need it.”
Effective Oct. 4, the facility will offer endocrinology, general surgery, radiology, neurosurgery, pain management, orthopedics and vascular surgery. Officials noted that the outpatient setting is where RRH’s patients receive the majority of their health care services, and previously, many rural patients faced long drives to find care.
In addition to the new specialty services, patients can visit the facility for primary care, cardiology, dermatology and lab work.
“What this means to patients is easy, local access to both high-quality primary care and top specialists. It’s our one-stop answer to bringing the best of care close to home for all of our patients,” said Bridgette Wiefling, executive vice president and chief physician enterprise officer of Rochester Regional Health.
The new medical campus is located at 4302 Gateway Drive in Geneseo.
Rochester Regional Health’s Urology Department has received a $5 million gift to establish the Di Francesco Urology Institute. The donation came from Olindo and Filomena Di Francesco.
“Money doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do things to help others,” said Olindo Di Francesco. “Dr. John Valvo saved my life, and I wanted to do anything I could to give back to Rochester Regional Health.”
The institute will feature new state-of-the-art technology that will improve the quality of life for patients for decades to come, officials said. It will provide patients with new treatment options for prostate conditions and kidney stones using the Olympus Solitive SuperPulsed Laser System.
“Olindo and Filomena’s generosity will ensure a lasting legacy for their family and the impact of their donation can already be felt for patients at the Di Francesco Urology Institute,” said John Valvo M.D., chief of robotic surgery at Rochester Regional Health.
Known in the community for their Italian supermarket and philanthropic donations to Saint Padre Pio Chapel, the Di Francescos will now also be known for giving Rochester Regional Health patients access to a state of the art outpatient urologic operating room equipped with the first major breakthrough in urology laser technology in two decades.
“More than half a million Americans seek medical treatment for kidney stone problems every year and this new laser system will allow us to deliver faster and more efficient care to our patients, breaking the stones in less than half the time it would typically take,” said Louis Eichel, chief of urology. “This gets patients back on their feet faster.”
Other patient care investments the health system is making because of the Di Francesco’s donation include the Olympus Plasma technology and Narrow Band Imaging technologies.
Rochester Regional Health this fall plans to close Hill Haven Rehabilitation and Transitional Care Center following nearly four decades serving the Rochester community.
“Hill Haven has been a staple of our community,” said Jill Graziano, senior vice president of extended care at RRH. “Following months of deliberation and careful consideration, we are announcing the building’s retirement, but not its legacy, which our employees will carry forward. We are committed to keeping 100 percent of Hill Haven’s 350 staff members with positions throughout the health system.”
Several factors influenced the decision to close Hill Haven, officials said in a statement Tuesday, including the shifting needs of the community, as well as growth of in-home and transitional senior living and health care options. Nursing homes across the state and country also are experiencing similar patterns, officials said.
“New choices of care continue to emerge as more people seek alternatives to nursing homes — a trend that has been growing, even before the pandemic, which has impacted admissions,” Graziano said. “As an integrated healthcare delivery system, we understand continuum of care is essential and Rochester Regional is positioned to meet the needs of many Hill Haven residents through our wide range of personalized, comprehensive programs such as long-term care, home care and ElderONE — part of the national Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) network, among others.”
Hill Haven’s services include short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, hospice care and dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease care. Officials said RRH social workers and care managers will have personalized conversations to ensure residents and their families receive the appropriate level of specialized care and support they need as they transition to another facility within the health system, back home or other nursing homes within the community.
Hill Haven is certified for 288 beds, according to the federal Medicare website. The facility has an overall rating of two out of five stars, which is based on a nursing home’s performance in three areas including health inspections, staffing and quality of resident care measures.
Hill Haven ranked above average for its staffing and quality of resident care measures, but in the area of health inspections, the agency received one out of five stars, according to the Medicare website. The low rating was based on a 2019 health inspection at which time the facility received seven citations. Between 2020 and 2021 there were no complaint inspections and two infection control inspections resulted in no citations.
The state Department of Health has approved Rochester Regional Health’s operational closure plan. All Hill Haven employees will receive details of their new job placements within other parts of the integrated health system in the coming days.
“Our employees mean a great deal to our health system and we could not be more proud of them,” said Hill Haven Administrator of Rochester Regional Health Denis Vinnik. “We celebrate their great history of serving residents and the Rochester community. And we look forward to the continuation of their service and unwavering dedication to our health system and the community.”
Several hospitals statewide are slated to share nearly $300 million in emergency federal funding, including four in the Rochester metro area.
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday announced the “safety net” funding, which will provide health care to patients in need regardless of insurance. Some $290.7 million has been allotted to Upstate hospitals by Health and Human Services.
“Upstate New York’s ‘safety net’ hospitals were our critical, frontline defense against COVID-19 and it is only with their help that we were able to flatten the curve and begin the reopening process. As we begin to reopen, we must not forget the bravery and incredible sacrifices healthcare centers made to care for Upstate New York in our darkest hour,” Schumer said in a statement. “I will continue to fight tirelessly to make sure New York’s world-class health care workforce and all our hospitals get all the federal support they need to get on the road to recovery.”
Four Rochester-area hospitals will receive funding including Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, part of Rochester Regional Health, $5.3 million; Highland Hospital, part of University of Rochester Medicine $10.2 million; Rochester General Hospital, part of Rochester Regional Health, $22.4 million; and Unity Hospital (district includes Park Ridge and Genesee divisions), part of RRH, $13.3 million.
“Frontline workers have risked their lives and fought tirelessly to keep New Yorkers safe during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Gillibrand said. “Our safety net hospitals treated patients regardless of insurance status and because of their sacrifice, New York is progressing toward a safe reopening. As we move forward, this funding will provide direct relief to help these critical hospitals recover financially. I am grateful to our health care workers for their tireless work and devotion to public health and I will continue fighting for the resources needed to repair and recover.”
Schumer pushed the administration to provide $10 billion for safety-net hospitals nationally as part of the $175 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund in the CARES Act and is in addition to the $264 million for rural healthcare centers and the $1.4 billion from the PHSSEF announced last month.
The senators also said that New York state as a whole will receive the lion’s share of funding, with more than 10 percent of the total $10 billion going toward health care providers across the state.
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