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E.J. Noble Hospital starts fresh

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GOUVERNEUR — E.J. Noble Hospital has a finalized management agreement with Canton-Potsdam Hospital, a new board, a new administrator, an infusion of money and the start of a new vision of how to provide health care in Gouverneur.

CPH and E.J. Noble were advised today that their management agreement was approved by the E.J. Noble bondholder, the National Automatic Sprinkler Pension Fund, which paved the way for Marlinda L. LaValley, vice president for administrative services at CPH, to be named administrator at the Gouverneur hospital.

An application for the hospital to change its designation from acute care to critical access was filed Monday, CPH Administrator David B. Acker said. That would allow the hospital to gain increased Medicare reimbursements.

A recently appointed E.J. Noble board of President Michael J. Burgess, a vice president at Kinney Drugs; Mark L. Brackett, Kinney Foundation Board president; Nicholas F. Gardner, a Gouverneur dentist; Stephen E. Knight, United Helpers chief executive officer, and Dr. Andrew Williams, a physician at Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country and CPH, are continuing to review the hospital’s fiscal situation and its operations, including what services should be kept, and to oversee the eventual opening of a primary care clinic in the hospital.

On top of a $2 million loan for short-term relief of E.J. Noble arranged through the Dormitory Authority by the state Department of Health, CPH will provide a $300,000 loan which it will forgive. CPH will also waive its management fee for six months and then use that money at E.J. Noble, Mr. Acker said.

Kinney Nursing Home will remain open under the supervision of United Helpers and the hospital’s laboratory will be supervised for now by Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown.

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