UTICA, N.Y. – Representatives from the Mohawk Valley Health System and the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory are taking steps toward a potential partnership between the two organizations. The organizations signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday, the first step toward an affiliation between the two.

In the announcement, they said the construction of the new downtown Utica hospital provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together the specialties of the two institutions, and to capitalize on each other’s roles in the healthcare system.

The scope and details have not yet been finalized, but a major focus of the joint venture is to develop a research space within the new hospital that would allow Masonic Medical Research Laboratory researchers and MVHS clinical staff to collaborate in ways that weren’t possible before.

“As centers for research and medicine, MMRL and MVHS have missions and goals that complement each other,” State Senator Joseph Griffo said. “It is a great opportunity for both of these fine institutions to work together to ensure that cutting-edge research within a new state-of-the-art medical facility continues to occur for the benefit of the residents of the Mohawk Valley.”

State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said projects like these are exactly the kind of projects the state should be funding.

“There are many benefits that could result from this agreement – from the immediate impact of treating patients in a new world-class facility, to the subtler opportunities of putting clinicians and researchers together in an environment where they can make new, life-saving discoveries,” Brindisi said. “This project and this partnership have the potential to yield tremendous results.”

The Health System and Masonic have already worked together in the past, with the hospital providing tissue samples to researchers. Now, the two groups are moving toward a much more direct partnership.

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