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Local hospitals to receive federal ‘safety net’ funding

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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