Hospital supporters weigh in:

“Change is really the only thing that creates progress . . . a downtown hospital and 21st-century healthcare is a necessity.” Utica Comets President Rob Esche

  • “We cannot wait to witness and participate in all the positive that is sure to come from this growth and change. We hope that by lending our positive voice and encouragement, others will also speak publicly about their support of the project.” Gina Surace, co-owner of GSCB Inc. and 600 State St.
  •  “[The downtown medical center] will be a definite draw in terms of recruitment. You’re going to be training physicians in a state-of-the-art facility, which is where everybody would like to work. We want to be able to provide the best patient care with the best tools in the best facilities. And this would give us a great advantage for that.” Dr. Mark Warfel, D.O., FAAFP, St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program Director, Director of Medical Education for Mohawk Valley Health System
  • “A new downtown hospital will act as a new heartbeat for a neighborhood on life support, one that will provide vital services and a catalyst for growth. Yes, there will be some suffering, business interruption, and relocation. That is known. There will also be magnetic relocation into a livelier Eds & Meds district over time. The twenty-first century Utica will not look like the 1990’s version. It will be better.”
  • “I never thought during my career that we would have the opportunity to build a new medical center for our community. As a physician who has spent most of my life here, I’m convinced the new hospital will dramatically improve Utica. We are already starting to see positive changes in physician interest and recruitment. The future is looking much brighter.” Dr. Michael Kelberman, M.D., FACC, Central New York Cardiology
  • “This project represents an incredible accomplishment for the city of Utica and the region. As out-of-town investors in downtown Utica, we see the transformative potential and look forward to this success coming to fruition.” Eric Smithers, Bowers Development, LLC
  • “Do what’s good for the city and get on with this important project.” Observer-Dispatch letter to the editor from Anthony Salerno of Utica, March 15, 2018
  • “I never imagined we’d have the opportunity to build a new healthcare center for our community – it’s amazing!” Amanda Sweeney, RN, Nurse Manager, Neuro/Peds, MVHS St. Elizabeth Campus
  • “Putting a major health care facility in a section of downtown Utica would surely be a game changer.” Observer-Dispatch editorial, March 4, 2018
  • “As a lifelong Oneida County and City of Utica resident, former and current small business owner, and former elected official I say it’s time to end the delays and get this hospital built in the location selected by MVHS… This is an opportunity of a lifetime not only for state of the art healthcare but also a chance to completely rebuild a section of our downtown that has been left to rot… Build it now…”
  • “Unfortunately, opponents of the new hospital have spread much misinformation about this once in a lifetime project and have made it difficult to distinguish facts from fiction. That’s why I encourage you visit the MVHS New Hospital Q & A to get the facts about the project:” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, responding to a petition, December 23, 2017 
  • “It’s about damn time that everyone stand up and support the hospital like these people have done.” WIBX’s Bill Keeler, speaking about on “First News,” September 6, 2017
  • “There’s no doubt that a new hospital is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this area. We all can work together for a positive outcome or slide back into the abyss of negativity that gripped the region for decades. The answer seems obvious.” Observer-Dispatch editorial, August 25, 2017
  • “The hospital location ultimately should be what is the best location for our community as a whole, especially our underserved, who often can’t just jump in a car and drive to the hospital.”
  • “I’m for it. A city, especially a downtown in a city needs to be upgraded sometimes and a hospital with opening up other opportunities to build is what a city that has been in difficult times for decades needs the input of new construction because it means the pipes under the downtown will be replaced as well as many amenities will come with it. It’s better than putting the hospital in a rural area that disturbs the environment. It will be in walking distance of more people and modernize downtown. A long needed refurbishment.”
  • “Yes!!! I am an RN at the St. Luke’s campus who is all for the downtown hospital (as many of my co-workers are, despite the NHD PEOPLE SAYING ALL THE NURSES ARE AGAINST IT) Most people for it feel it is happening and aren’t worried about speaking out in favor of it. This creates a very slanted view to the general public and politicians when all they see is the opposers.”
  • “[Buffalo has] an awesome hospital in their city and the city is great partly because of it. They have culture and history, even with a new hospital. We can have it all too. There has to be a give and take to move forward and see the change that we need.”
  • “According to the Democracy Collaborative’s David Zuckerman, some communities are now centering economic development around local universities and non-profit hospitals, which tend to be among the largest local employers. As institutions, they often have vested interests in the local community and are unlikely to leave. This can solidify their commitment to engaging in the long-term prosperity of communities. In such cases, the community’s interests in improving economic opportunity locally may also serve hospitals’ bottom lines. The Democracy Collaborative recently released Hospitals Creating Healthier Communities, which outlines how hospitals have successfully moved the needle in rethinking their economic and community engagement strategies.”
  • “YES! Forward and Upward!”
  • “[Opponents have] let it be known that they intend to get press, ‘make noise’, on a regular basis. They have stated it in the past and now they find a way to remain in the public eye. So, in this week’s installment, and in advance of the upcoming city council meeting on Wednesday, [they attempt] to cast shadows of doubt on the integrity of The Community Foundation and any ties with the MVHS. This is their ‘smoke and mirrors’ strategy to detract from their own failing ‘political movement’. It is fooling no one.”
  • “I leave tomorrow for 3 days in NYC for medical appointments. Would I rather receive treatment locally? Sure, if it were as fine as what I receive in NYC. But it isn’t. A new hospital with the opportunity for healthcare that is not only improved but of much higher caliber than what exists currently locally, would ensure that those of us who receive catastrophic illness care in NYC, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Boston, Cleveland, and elsewhere, would choose to have care here. And, check out cities with hospitals downtown. The staff and patient families DO patronize surrounding businesses. The hospital is not a City unto itself. Many staff and family members go to restaurants, convenience stores, salons, coffee shops, and other businesses in the neighborhood surrounding the hospital IF those services are present. There are only so many hours families can spend in the hospital, especially if someone is there for an extended time. There are only so many times hospital staff will eat in the cafeteria. They need a change of venue, too. Cities with downtown hospitals have found them to be good neighbors. And, they also tend to make neighborhoods safer and more stable.”
  • ” . . . much of what I hear con to the downtown hospital is fear of the inner city which is demeaning to the people who live in downtown and who often need the care the most. I have a severely handicapped child and we have spent much of our Lives living in hospitals, the best in the world all of which are in downtown locations.”
  • “I also have frequented downtown hospitals in many cities, along with the shops and eateries around them. While I know that there are cons with any large project such as this, I believe the pros far outweigh them…I think Utica can’t afford not to build this hospital downtown.”
  • “[Opponents of the downtown site have given] too little consideration [to] those who live nearest to the downtown hospital location . . . the epicenter of lower income, elderly, handicapped, refugee, and, yes, homeless including military veterans, many of whom do not and never will have the means to travel to a suburban hospital location.”
  • “Stop all the hate. Feel the love and feel the heartbeat that this new hospital/medical center will bring, the life-blood for all the new babies it will provide, the medical miracles, as well as the life ending occurrences that will surely happen there as well for generation after generation into the future.”

Note: Unattributed statements were posted on Facebook