Strong Hospital expansion gets $50 million grant from NYS

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Strong Memorial Hospital is getting a $50 million dollar grant from New York State to support a major expansion that is underway to modernize the emergency department and improve patient care.  The project will roughly triple the size of the emergency department, helping to ease overcrowding and reduce wait times for admission.

The grant wasn’t a total surprise for hospital leaders.  The Governor had set aside $200 million in the budget specifically for projects at urban, safety-net hospitals, Strong received $50 million out of that pot.  “I think it’s no secret in our city that our emergency department every day is overcrowded so, this is very important for our physicians, our nurses and all of the health care workers that work in the ED, to have a better, more modern facility to work in,” says Strong COO, Kathy Parinello.

Demolition is already underway and when the project is complete in late 2026 or early 2027, “we will be able to triple our pediatric emergency department and we’ll be able to provide private rooms for all of our patients coming to the emergency room, both pediatric and adult,” Parinello adds. 

A new nine-story tower will also include 112 new private rooms for patients who have to stay and separate adult and child emergency psychiatry services, “I think given, the pandemic, the huge growth in emergency response required in NYS and the need for emergency departments, we believed that we were certainly… I think the state has us in mind when they were considering this grant,” Parinello adds. 

The total cost of the project is roughly $650 million.  Last week, Federal representatives announced they had secured $1 million towards the project.  Parinello says the hospital will fundraise to try to offset the remaining amount, use its own assets and borrow.

As for how Strong will find the staff to work inside a bigger emergency department when it’s already understaffed?  News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke looked into that during a recent story on the project.