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More than $12 million in federal funding awarded to area hospitals

Chautauqua County’s three hospitals are being awarded more than $12.8 million in federal funding.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that Upstate New York’s rural hospitals, clinics and community health centers would receive an additional $264 million in hospital and health system funding allocated by Health and Human Services to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). This announcement comes on the heels of Schumer’s announcement last week that New York hospitals received over $1.4 billion in the second round of CARES Act hospital funding.

Local hospitals receiving funds include:

¯ Brooks-TLC Hospital System — $4,281,000

¯ Westfield Memorial Hospital — $3,213,000

¯ UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown — $5,327,000

“This funding is good news for our rural hospitals and health centers throughout Upstate New York that have been fighting to save lives and simultaneously struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing public health crisis. Our rural Upstate hospitals and providers have been New York’s heroes in the battle against COVID-19 and these critical dollars will help keep the fight against the virus going strong,” said Senator Schumer. “I will continue to fight tirelessly to make sure New York’s world-class healthcare workforce and our hospitals get all the federal support they need to beat back this pandemic and get on the road to recovery.”

“Even before this pandemic rural health care providers were struggling to stay afloat and it’s critical that they have immediate access to capital, grant, and loan programs as they combat COVID-19 in New York’s most affected areas,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Rural hospitals, clinics, and community health centers (CHCs) provide a wide-range of services to some of our most vulnerable populations and they ensure every community has access to quality health care, especially in times of public health emergencies. I will continue to fight for the resources needed to support our rural hospitals and CHCs providing this essential care.”

“Hospitals across New York state are experiencing unprecedented financial strains as they work to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “This week’s targeted funding is a lifeline for our rural hospitals. We are tremendously grateful to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for their continuous work to infuse critical funding into New York and ensure that our rural and hot spot hospitals across the state are not left behind as a result of this pandemic.”

During the CARES Act negations, Schumer pushed the administration to provide this vital $10 billion for rural hospitals and health centers nationally as part of $175 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) he championed and is in addition from the $1.4 billion from the PHSSEF he announced last week. The Senator explained that with nearly 74,000 confirmed cases in Upstate New York, rural hospitals and healthcare systems are facing financial difficulty and need immediate federal assistance to avoid layoffs and furloughs of healthcare staff who are vital to maintaining the frontline against COVID-19.

According to HHS, recipients of the $10 billion rural distribution can include, rural acute care general hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and Community Health Centers located in rural areas.

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