Fort Drum has one of the most innovative healthcare systems of any base operated by the US Army. Rather than concentrate all its medical facilities on-base, Fort Drum has partnered with hospitals, clinics and care providers in the community.
The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that key funding for the project — roughly $500,000 — is on the line in Washington DC.
North country lawmakers will find out this week if the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization receives a boost of federal funds or is left looking to other sources to survive.
A House-Senate conference committee will decide whether to support the FDRHPO through an annual bill outlining defense programs. The prospects may be dim, said a Senate aide who works with the Armed Services Committee’s Democratic majority.
At stake is $500,000 for the organization, a network of local hospitals that helps fill in the gaps created by a lack of a hospital on Fort Drum. The program’s operating budget has been supported by federal earmarks since its creation several years ago, although grants and other funding constitute a big piece of its overall finances.
If the funding isn’t secured, it could have wide-reaching implications not just for military personnel and their families, but for the wider healthcare system in the Watertown area. Read the full article here.