Oswego, NY – As lawmakers plan to cut money for a number of medical programs, the state's medical schools are speaking out.
Representatives from SUNY Upstate Medical University joined with other schools in urging legislators to restore cuts that they say weaken the state's academic medical centers. Programs at stake include Doctors Across New York, which places young doctors in rural areas, as well as a program that supports spinal cord research.
"Our college of medicine has had a reduction of over 20 percent of its state allocation," said Dr. Steven Scheinman, Senior Vice President and Dean of the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate. He said the teaching college is also affected by cuts to its hospital funding and Medicaid.
"We are the only burn program anywhere between Rochester and New York City," Said Scheinman. Of the 15 medical schools in New York State, Sheinman said Upstate is the only one that defines itself as a regional medical center. "Our poison control center services most of the counties in New York State and our training programs are reaching out beyond just Syracuse." He added, "Upstate has a strong and growing linkage with Ft. Drum, which is the largest military installation in the country that doesn't have its own hospital."
SUNY Upstate is the largest employer in Onondaga County. The Associated Medical Schools of New York claims the schools and hospital affiliates have an economic impact of more than $85.6 billion. That's $1 in every $13 in the state economy.