A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta will continue its renovations thanks to additional funds secured by New York State Senator James Seward.

Seward announced Monday that an additional $250,000, courtesy of the State Dormitory Authority, will be used to provide medical equipment for the hospital’s renovations.

“A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital is a recognized leader in the field of rural community health care,” Seward said. “I am pleased to partner with the hospital as they update their patient care model to successfully meet new challenges while continuing to offer the best possible care.”

The grant secured by Seward comes in addition to the $8.7 million HEAL-NY grant awarded to the hospital last year. The funding is being used to modernize and restructure the inpatient bed complement to achieve cost efficiency and support quality improvements.

The hospital applied for the HEAL-NY grant with the help of Seward in January 2012 and renovations began in January 2013. The complete renovation process is expected to be completed by February 2014.

According A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital President John Remillard, five or six years ago the organization identified the need for single-patient rooms for better care and for patients’ desire for privacy. There is no additional structure being built, but renovations to existing wings are well underway.

The first section of the renovation was completed last week and has been opened for patients. At the completion of the project there will be 53 available single inpatient rooms and 14 single-patient observation rooms.

Remillard said single-patient facilities will provide more infection control and match the wants and needs of the community. Prior to the renovations, Fox Hospital only had six private rooms available for patients.

Remillard added that the organization is thankful for the additional money provided by Seward’s efforts.

“On behalf of Fox Hospital and its Gold Standard of Patient Care Campaign, we are so grateful and honored by the news of the funding obtained by Senator Seward,” he said. “As those in Senator Seward’s district know well, he has always supported so many local endeavors in healthcare, the arts, education, recreation and economic development.”

The additional $250,000 will assist in the purchase of wall-mounted computers and scanners to be utilized in newly renovated single occupancy patient rooms. Each room will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as bedside bar code scanning and heart monitoring.

These single-patient private rooms, which are also being called “universal rooms,” will replace the intensive care unit. Patients will be admitted to one room and stay there for their entire stay without moving, regardless of their health status. All rooms will be capable of providing care for the most extreme health issues to other less serious health problems.

The universal rooms are spacious. Rooms that once held two patients will now hold just one. Remillard said the number of patients the hospital can hold will decrease but patients will have a better environment in which to get better. Furniture is also being purchased that can be converted into beds for families that wish to stay with patients overnight.

Seward added that Fox Hospital's continue growth and improvements will have a direct economic impact for the area.

“Along with providing optimal health care, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital is a prime employer that enhances the quality of life in the greater Oneonta area,” Seward said. “When families and businesses consider locating here they can be secure in the knowledge that their medical needs will be more than satisfied.”