A fundraising campaign under way at O'Connor Hospital in Delhi aims to expand and renovate the hospital's primary-care facility and build a primary care center in Andes for $2.5 million.
The Primary Care Connections Campaign, launched last Friday, will help stem a shortage of primary-care providers for the two communities, according to a media release from the hospital.
"This project will more than double the number of patient visits that can be accommodated in our Delhi primary-care facility," O'Connor CEO Dan Ayres said in the release. "The combined projects will alleviate the severe shortage of primary-care physicians that Delaware County is experiencing."
Campaign committee Chairman James Thomson said $1.5 million has already been raised toward the Primary Care Connections Campaign's $2.5 million goal.
"Given the number of people who have voiced concern over the shortfall in our region of primary-care services, I am confident this campaign will be embraced by the communities we serve," Thomson said in the release. "The combined projects demonstrate a clear commitment on the part of O'Connor Hospital and Bassett to meeting the health care needs of the region."
A recent study by the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the School of Public Health at the University of Albany showed a deficit in the number of primary-care physicians needed in the region of between 5 percent and 9 percent. In the last year-and-a-half, three of the existing four private primary-care physicians in Delaware County closed their practices. At the same time, while the overall county population has declined, the number of older people has increased by 5.5 percent.
Work on the expansion of the primary-care facility on the O'Connor campus will continue through the summer. The new space will allow for as many as nine primary-care doctors.
Meanwhile, a certificate of need application is before the state Health Department for the Andes health center, which will be led by Dr. Susan Fiore, a physician who lives in the area.
Other members of the Primary Care Connections Campaign committee include Robert Armstrong, Sheila Ayres, Dr. Alberto Gaitan, Lucile Frisbee, Peter Hamilton, Dennis Marsh, Paul Roach, Carol Spinelli and William Sunkenberg.
The work of the committee is being supported by Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, the nonprofit philanthropic organization that supports all of Bassett's affiliates by raising funds and community awareness.
For more information about the Primary Care Connections Campaign, contact Amy Beveridge, manager of fund development at O'Connor Hospital, at 746-0331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.