Ithaca, N.Y. — Cayuga Health has completed major construction on its new $32 million outpatient medical facility, Cayuga Park, a 65,000-square-foot building that is expected to be fully operational by this fall.
The five-story building is located in Carpenter Park, just off Route 13, in the lot next to GreenStar Co-Op grocery store. Construction began in 2020 and was delayed significantly due to labor and supply chain pressures caused by the pandemic.
The facility holds an in-house x-ray service to speed up results, a patient service center to perform lab tests, multiple pharmacies and a floor dedicated to oncology services like chemotherapy transfusions.
Patients receiving care outside of Cayuga Health are also able to use the facility for testing and screening purposes.
The land where the facility is built is owned by Cayuga Health and is being leased to Park Grove Realty, a development and management company based in Rochester, New York, that is responsible for constructing the Westview Apartments affordable housing complex on the edge of Carpenter Park, adjacent to Aldi.
The Cayuga Park building also includes an improved immediate care center that allows patients to walk in outside of usual operating hours, according to a statement from Park Grove Realty.
Jeffery Penoyer, the chief operating officer of Cayuga Medical Associates, emphasized that the facility “represents a significant investment in primary care for Cayuga Health.” He also highlighted the broader challenge, noting that “nationally, recruiting primary care providers and sustaining primary care services in a community is challenging.”
The second floor is designated for primary care services and will replace the existing family medicine building located at 209 State Street. The medical team practicing at the existing location will be relocated to Cayuga Park.
The complex was built to maximize natural light and minimize noise from the nearby railroad and the ever-bustling Route 13. Floor to ceiling windows provide a view of Cayuga Lake and the surrounding foliage.
It was planned using a medical design approach known as “on-stage/off-stage,” which emphasizes strategically separating patients from medical staff to make receiving medical care less stressful.
To accomplish this, two entrances have been included in each exam room, one for the patients and one for medical staff. Each door leads to separately designed and designated areas to “remove patients from the hustle and bustle of care,” according to Penoyer.
Areas where care is discussed, medicine is dispensed and labs are interpreted, like at nursing stations and staff lounges, are not available to patients.
This is especially useful, according to Penoyer, on the fifth floor of the facility, which is dedicated to women’s health services. It features a private staircase that leads to a changing room and the screening center, to eliminate the need to scurry past strangers with a pink hospital gown and socks to receive testing.
Penoyer said the existing women’s health facility located at 1020 Craft Road “quickly outgrew its space” and will be relocating to this facility when it is operational.
He said the “on-stage/off-stage” approach has been successfully used by Cayuga Health in the design and construction of two other existing facilities: Community Corners Internal Medicine located at 905 Hanshaw Road and the primary care office at 260 Tompkins Street in Cortland.
The Cayuga Park complex was designed by the local firm HOLT Architects, while construction was handled by DiMarco Constructors, based in Rochester, New York.