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New, larger health center okayed for Warrensburg

$5 million federal grant approved

With a $5 million in grant funding now lined up, the existing Warrensburg Health Center is to be replaced with a new $6 million facility, twice as large, which will be built in front of the present building, originally constructed as a grocery store. After the new health center is built — groundbreaking is expected next spring — the old facility will be torn down for municipal parking.

With a $5 million in grant funding now lined up, the existing Warrensburg Health Center is to be replaced with a new $6 million facility, twice as large, which will be built in front of the present building, originally constructed as a grocery store. After the new health center is built — groundbreaking is expected next spring — the old facility will be torn down for municipal parking.

— Envisioned for decades, a brand-new health center is now in the works for Warrensburg.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced early Tuesday May 1 that $5 million in federal funds have been approved for Hudson Headwaters Health Network to replace its Warrensburg Health Center building with a modern two-story structure nearly twice the size.

The proposed facility will cost more than $6 million to construct.

For over 30 years, HHHN officials have been concerned about problems in adapting the former grocery store building to their needs, particularly with the ever-increasing facility demands due to evolving technology. Excess utility consumption has also been an issue in the aging building, originally built as a grocery store. The town of Warrensburg has traditionally paid the center’s utility bills.

In a prepared statement, Schumer said he lobbied for the new health center to improve services to patients — and make it easier to recruit and retain doctors and physicians’ assistants. He noted that the new facility would greatly benefit local residents, many of whom are impoverished, as well as help the Warrensburg Health Center become a site for teaching health care professionals.

"This is just what the doctor ordered for Adirondack area residents,” Schumer said. “Funding for Hudson Headwaters’ new facility in Warrensburg will improve patient care and bring new blood to the area through the opening of a teaching center. I am thrilled that U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has heeded my call.”

Hudson Headwaters founder and CEO Dr. John Rugge said he and other HHHN officials were happy with the approval of the grant, which many said was a long shot.

“We are delighted to secure funds in what was an extremely competitive grant process,” Rugge said, noting that the Warrensburg Health Center experiences many thousands of patient visits per year from people all over the region, seven days and six evenings every week of the year. “Of course, we were able to make a strong case for upgrading the medical capacity in Warrensburg.”

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