Schumer announces millions for Capital Region healthcare programs

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Money from the year-end spending bill passed in Congress just before Christmas is coming soon to help healthcare programs in the Capital Region.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the new funding Thursday at the Center for Disability Services in Albany. Twenty-two million dollars will help fund several local projects.

The Center for Disability Services will partner with Albany Med to provide healthcare for people with disabilities at one single, accessible location. The funds will help create what Schumer said is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ health system. He said it will address problems that arise when people with disabilities visit Albany Med’s emergency room and have trouble communicating their medical history. Records will be kept in one place where people will go for care.

“Complete medical records for patients will now be available and it will all be in one place. It will save money, but more importantly, it will save lives, and also make it easier to give a higher quality of healthcare to people with disabilities,” Schumer said.

Two local nursing programs are also getting a boost. Money will be going to Siena and Maria College to buy new and improved technology to train nurses. Maria College said it would spend $770,000 on a virtual reality nursing simulation that will teach real-life skills to students.

“Both Maria and Siena Colleges are training the Capital Region’s next generation of nurses, and they report that just about all of their graduating nursing students find immediate employment at our local hospitals. So they’re not going far away, they’re staying here, and providing good healthcare,” Schumer said.