A new birth in Putnam
NY Journal News
June 30, 2008

After completing its fourth major expansion in a little more than a decade, Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel has doubled in size and increased exponentially in medical sophistication. The only hospital in Putnam County, it is now able to provide highly specialized health-care services that residents used to have to travel out of the county's borders to receive. That's good news for Putnam, particularly in an era of increasing pressure on medical facilities, when a hospital could as easily close as expand.

The latest addition to Putnam Hospital Center is the new five-story Camarda Care Center, which has two floors devoted to cancer treatment and diagnosis, and boasts specialized equipment for radiation and CT scans, and rooms for services like genetics counseling and consultation. For the first time, patients will be able to receive radiation therapy at the hospital, a particular convenience since patients receiving radiation often need daily visits. The center will also add 70 well-appointed private patient rooms, doctors' offices, and a community auditorium for hosting public and professional medical forums.

The new wing follows more than $20 million worth of renovations in the past decade, including a birthing center, a new emergency room, and a three-story wing for ambulatory surgery, outpatient radiology, physical therapy and doctor's offices.

The $34 million Camarda Care Center was funded through public funds and private donations, including $500,000 from a foundation set up by Paul Camarda, one of Putnam County's most active developers. It is heartening to see such community partnerships, to see those businesses that contributed to the growth of the county pitch in to help provide the services a larger population requires.

Like Putnam County itself, it's hard to remember the sleepy little community hospital that Putnam Hospital Center once was.