Tuesday, 05 March, 2024


Clifton-Fine Emergency Department

JANUARY 23, 2024
Northern New York Community Foundation support will help transform St. Lawrence County’s Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake. A $150,000 Grant strengthens the Capital Campaign while investing in the future

A Community Foundation grant funding totaling $150,000 will help transform the 75-year-old Clifton-Fine Hospital into a more modern, patient-centered facility that will serve rural southeastern St. Lawrence County residents for years to come.

The Community Foundation recently approved a series of grants for the Wilderness HealthCare Foundation, which is the hospital’s fundraising arm. An initial $50,000 award is directed toward the “Emergency Care Close to Home” campaign, which includes $25,000 from the Paul J. Flynn Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation.

The Wilderness HealthCare Foundation is presently engaged in a $1 million community fundraising campaign to help secure the remaining support for the $23 million project to construct and equip a new emergency services wing.

As part of the total commitment of $150,000, when the hospital’s community campaign reaches $750,000, the Community Foundation will award a second $25,000 grant to the campaign and $25,000 to the Wilderness HealthCare Foundation Endowment Fund held at Community Foundation.

Once the campaign reaches $950,000, the Community Foundation will award a final installment of $50,000 for the campaign to reach its $1 million goal.

“The Northern New York Community Foundation is investing in the future of health care in southeastern St. Lawrence County,” Clifton-Fine Hospital CEO Dierdra Sorrell said. “Their leadership gift paves the way for a successful emergency room upgrade, and we are forever grateful.”

Clifton-Fine Hospital serves a sprawling geographic area of St. Lawrence County within a 50-mile radius of Star Lake. It is a critical access hospital that delivers emergency and primary care services, among other offerings for patients.

With an average of more than 1,300 patients visiting the emergency room in the past three years, improvements to emergency services are a major focus of the project. The capital campaign now underway will help the hospital complete a 9,300-square-foot addition to its emergency room, adding private exam and treatment rooms, as well as fully equipped trauma space.

The project is scheduled to break ground as soon as late spring or early summer with an estimated 18-month construction timeline.
“It was important for us to be one of the first to join the campaign to complete this important project. The hospital is a core component of strengthening this part of the region we serve and those who live and spend time in the Clifton-Fine community,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “This is something we know will have a critical and direct impact on many lives, and also builds upon and enhances other investments we’ve made in this part of St. Lawrence County.”

The hospital has successfully garnered close to $22 million in support for the project from the New York State Department of Health, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, and the Town of Fine.

The community fundraising campaign is focused on securing equipment for the new emergency department. New equipment will maximize efficiencies while also improving patient care and ensuring a safe and healthy environment.

The hospital modernization is the most important endeavor in the community for the next two decades, if not longer, and will cast a positive economic impact on the region. It will enable the hospital to continue to provide first-rate care to year-round and seasonal residents, tourists, as well as students, faculty, and staff at the two SUNY ESF locations in the region.

The Community Foundation’s presence in the Clifton-Fine region has grown in recent years, thanks in part to several key investments in the past decade, work with donors to establish several permanent philanthropic funds, including the Clifton-Fine Community Fund.

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