By John Addyman
There’s a lot of hammering going on as the Rochester Regional Health expands its facilities in Newark, Phelps and Geneva, moving services a lot closer to suburban communities in Wayne and Ontario counties and the Finger Lakes.
RRH’s Newark-Wayne Hospital has recently gone through a major renovation, creating a model of patient acceptance and care that is being emulated in a $32 million Medical Village project at Clifton Springs Hospital and further development and expansion at the new Geneva Medical Campus.
“There’s a lot going on,” said Dustin Riccio, a physician who is president of the Newark and Clifton Springs hospitals. “When you look at Newark-Wayne Hospital, it does an excellent job of serving the community of Wayne County. We’ve continued to elevate its game for quite some time. The addition of Clifton Springs Hospital to Rochester Regional Health is very critical: what’s happening at Newark and Clifton-Springs is that they are creating a regional approach. We’re keeping both campuses but not duplicating services.
“We’re trying to elevate the services that were at Clifton Springs and keep them local, not forcing people to go to Rochester to get something we believe we can take care of locally. The regional set-up is important because Clifton Springs was a hospital that had been struggling for some time.
“Ontario is one of the very few counties in Upstate New York that is growing and doing it at a relatively good clip. There’s an additional and growing market to be served in the Finger Lakes. In addition to that, while we are executing our plan to keep care local, what we’re finding is that there’s an additional market there as well: people say, ‘You know what? I don’t have to go to RGH or Strong to see a specialist: I can actually stay local and get my care at Newark-Wayne and Clifton Springs. We recognize that market is here and we’ve invested in it.”
Why go to Rochester?
If people can get the same level of care and see their specialists close to home, why drive to Rochester?
Riccio feels that strengthening facilities at both hospitals and adding on to the Geneva Medical Campus will meet a community need that’s growing, increase the presence of Rochester Regional in the area, and increase market share. Convenience, technology, and a superior patient experience are Rochester Regional’s goals.
At Clifton Springs, the Medical Village Project has birthed a new patient access center and two of the most technologically advanced operating rooms in Upstate New York, said Riccio. “An orthopedist wants to be there and wants to give that level of care to whomever is coming through our system.”
Witness to that is Canandaigua Orthopaedic Associates, which has joined forces with Rochester Regional. “Those doctors will be doing surgery in the best possible location critical to their success and the well-being of their patients,” Riccio said.
The Medical Village is focused on adding space for services and specialties surrounding primary care. “Everything you need in the form of outpatient perspectives is here — dental, surgical, GI, women’s health services — which Clifton Springs hasn’t had in more than 10 years, pulmonary, sterile processing, cardiac rehab, occupational and physical therapy, and a new comprehensive psychiatric emergency program — the only one of its kind in the Finger Lakes. The CPEP has four beds, doubling what we currently have. This was a big piece of the project. With this new emergency department, we give those patients some of the space they need to get the care they need. They need a de-escalated environment and that’s what we provide with four patient rooms and a common area.”
Also new are two ambulatory procedure rooms and two endoscopy suites, plus a renovated post-anesthesia care unit. Everywhere, the focus is on maintaining a comfortable, attractive, pleasant experience for patients and family.
“A big piece of the project was the procedural suites and the operating rooms,” Riccio said. “What we wanted to offer was the highest quality of surgical or operative care.”
The latest portion of the work at Clifton Springs is a new emergency services suite, which will finish in 2022. “It will offer additional treatment rooms, triage space, and greater comfort for visitors and patients, with easier access,” Riccio said.
He said Rochester Regional learned a lot with the new welcome area at Newark-Wayne and the patient-handling processes there, applying that to the changes in Clifton Springs. “You now have a patient-registration process that creates an elevated experience which flows through the rest of the facility, flows through the care, whether it’s in-patient or outpatient.” One small thing that made a huge difference was the addition of sliding doors to the registration offices, offering privacy and peace. “That was a big win for our patient experience,” he said.
In Geneva, the former Finger Lakes Bone & Joint space on Pre-Emption Road will be more than doubled, with the addition of a floor full of specialists — family care, allergy and rheumatology; ear, nose and throat; endocrine; diabetes and nutrition; neurosurgery; orthopedics and orthopedic emergency care; vascular surgery, and gastroenterology.
And in Newark, orthopedists are using the new ROSA robotic knee-replacement system made by Zimmer Biomet. ROSA, which stands for robotic surgical assistant, allows for better outcomes because a surgeon can more precisely visualize where bone and soft tissue are for a more prefect replacement. ROSA will also be used at Rochester General and other RRH affiliates at United Memorial Hospital in Batavia and Unity Hospital in Unity Hospital in Greece.
“There’s a lot going on in Clifton Springs and Newark,’ Riccio said. “It’s where we live, and for those two hospitals, it’s a growing area and we’re proud to be part of it…and we’re very proud of what we’re doing.”
Editor’s Note: We offered the University of Rochester Medical Center an opportunity to describe its expansion plans in the Finger Lakes, but after several attempts got no response.
Photo: This is one of the new state-of-the-art operating rooms at Clifton Springs Hospital, part of the Rochester Regional Health, and evidence of the continuing $32 million Medical Village expansion at Clifton Springs that is regionalizing health services in the Ontario and Wayne counties.