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Officials break ground on the Nappi Longevity Institute

Upstate breaks ground on Nappi Longevity Institute

With gold-painted shovels, Upstate Medical University broke ground Monday, Feb. 10, on the Nappi Longevity Institute, a $158-million project that will offer greater access to critical care and medical advancements in brain health for Onondaga County and the surrounding Central New York region.

The Institute will feature five floors, totaling 209,615 square feet, with the option to add up to three floors if expansion is necessary. This flexible approach enables Upstate to add more space for patient care if more rooms are needed.

The construction project will employ 1,270 workers and is expected to have an economic impact of $231.7 million during construction, which is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Funding for the project came from a $70.6 million grant as part of the State Department of Health’s Capital Restructuring Financing Program and Essential Health Care Provider Support Program. An additional $70.6 million in matching bonds was issued by New York State. The project also received an $8 million gift from Sam and Carol Nappi to name the building and create an endowment to support the Nappi Longevity Institute.

“The Nappi Longevity Institute will be a transformative health care facility,” said Upstate Interim President Mantosh Dewan, MD. “It will bring essential health care services together, providing patients better access to specialists and foster greater collaboration between our health care providers to the benefit of our patients.

“Many are making this facility possible, especially our visionary benefactors Sam and Carol Nappi,” Dewan said. “We are grateful for their supportive efforts throughout Central New York, which are aimed at enhancing the human condition.”

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, held Feb. 10, at the Upstate Cancer Center, Carol Nappi said: “Today is an important day. A welcomed addition that will mark the start of improving the lives of many. Great things never come easy, so this endeavor will surely be great.”

Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development and executive director of the Upstate Foundation, applauded the Nappis for their unyielding support of the community. “This exciting initiative once again demonstrates the Nappi's heart, positive attitude and a desire to make a difference, and along with everything else they've done, it represents their resolve to address important issues in our community.”

In his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Robert Corona, DO, MBA, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital called the institute “innovative.” He said “it differentiates this institution from many across the country.”

The Institute, which will be located across the street from the Upstate Cancer Center, will be a major structure on the Upstate campus, bringing key ambulatory services under one roof. The Institute will provide a needed focus on brain health and will be a site for Alzheimer’s disease research and care. Its design will take advantage of integrated practice models where diverse medical services exist in a single setting.

The building will have generous public spaces and patient waiting areas, a plaza with gardens and a covered traffic circle for ease of dropping off and picking up patients. Bridges connecting the building to the parking garages and Upstate Cancer Center are also part of the design.

The Nappi Institute will house an array of services, practices and programs, including primary care, geriatrics, radiology, laboratory services, behavioral health, family medicine, pediatrics and the Joslin Center for Diabetes (adults and pediatrics). The building will have several supportive ancillary services and a Transitions Clinic to ensure seamless post-acute follow-up for patients. An infusion center and urgent care center will also be in the facility.

Primary care, behavioral health, specialties, palliative care and social supports will be integrated to reduce fragmentation and promote patient-centered multidisciplinary care in a single location. Primary care and behavioral health providers will share in the care of patients, development of care plans and education of patients and families.

A key feature of the building will be the expansion of Upstate’s Geriatrics Clinic, with an enhanced focus on Alzheimer’s disease. The clinical portion of the New York State Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s disease will relocate to this building, which will provide additional space for neuropsychological testing, physical therapy and convenient space for families to drop off and pick up patients.

“As our population ages, we will see patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers," Brangman said. “This facility will ensure that we have the space to care for patients, consult with families and provide us immediate access to other specialists.”

The design meets specifications for WELL Building Standard, developed by the International WELL Building Institute in 2014. The WELL Building Standard certification seeks to optimize health and well-being in seven areas: air, comfort, fitness, light, mind, nourishment and water. Upstate officials believe this building will be only one of a few health care facilities in the country to receive WELL Building Standard certification.

Kaushal Nanavati, MD, FAAFP, an Upstate family medicine physician and director of integrative medicine, said, “Our commitment to WELL designation signifies our focus on the well-being of our staff who spend much of their waking hours at work. The redesign offers us an opportunity to create an efficient, user friendly environment for those who work here, as well as our patients and their caregivers.”

The project is being managed by the SUNY Construction Fund, in collaboration with the Upstate’s internal Design and Construction team.

Caption: Shovels at the ready, Upstate officials, Upstate Foundation board members, Upstate Council members  and members of the Nappi family prepare to break ground on the Nappi Longevity Institute.