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Officials enlightened on National Rural Health Day

SARDINIA – Nov. 16 was designated as National Rural Health Day and during the public comment period at the Sardinia Town Board’s Nov. 9 meeting, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Development Coordinator Kara Kane was on hand to shine a light on it.

“National Rural Health Day is a great opportunity to talk about rural health,” Kane told board members. “Right now, more than 82 rural hospitals in the USA have closed, and when a community loses [something like] that, it’s devastating.”

G-Sardinia-NationalRuralHealthDayShe went on to explain that an independent analysis of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital says it is responsible for $47 million in economic impact annually.

“We see literally thousands of patients each month,” she said. “Our hospital is a real value for local health care.”

Kane said BCH has received a grant from NYS for $11.3 million, which will go toward upgrades in the imaging department — a 3D mammography unit and full-time MRI machine are among the items being added to improve the quality of care. There are also plans to build a medical arts building on the property to centralize primary care and offer other services. She spoke of regional services like dialysis being under consideration to help meet the needs of current and future generations.

“We want to hear what we do that’s right, and we want to know what we can do better,” she said.

Kane also said Mercy Flight in Buffalo has received a USDA Rural Development Grant which allowed them to add three new choppers to their fleet. One of those will be stationed in Springville.

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