Overview: History, Mission and Core Values

Welcome to Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca.

At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve. A hundred years ago, a group of forward-thinking community leaders opened a small city hospital with fifteen beds. Today, Cayuga Medical Center houses 212 beds, employs over 1,500 health-care professionals, and has a medical staff of more than 200 affiliated physicians.

Over the past century we have evolved into a comprehensive medical center and we continue to offer, as we always have, attentive and compassionate care to each patient who comes through our doors. Our patients and families are at the center of everything we do.

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations.

We are privileged to engage with you, our community, as we chart our course for the future. We work every day to help you meet your changing health-care needs. As a result more than 150,000 area residents and visitors choose us each year for top-quality, specialized health-care, rather than traveling outside of the area.

Thank you for choosing Cayuga Medical Center.

Taking Care of You

We are a hospital on the move. The breadth of our clinical services and our excellence in health-care delivery has increased dramatically over the last few years so that we can provide you with the care you and your family need.

In the Hospital

Inpatient services include:

  • Adult and Pediatric Medical and Surgical Care
  • Intensive and Cardiac Care, including Cardiac Catheterization
  • Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Inpatient Medical Rehabilitation
  • Maternal-Child Health Care, which includes Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Level II Special Care Nursery, and a Pediatrics Unit
  • Emergency Department, staffed 24 hours a day with board-certified physicians and experienced registered nurses. Patients typically move through our ED in an average of 180 minutes, which is an hour and a half less than the New York State mean, even though the acuity level of our patients is significantly higher than average.

Outpatient Care

The medical center and our two satellite campuses provide comprehensive outpatient care services including:

We believe strongly in collaboration, outreach, education, and a productive exchange of ideas. Cayuga Medical Center is affiliated with 24 teaching institutions, among them:

  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • The Rochester Heart Institute, a Cleveland Clinic Heart Surgery Center
  • The University of Rochester
  • Syracuse University and University Hospital
  • Ithaca College
  • Tompkins Cortland Community College School of Nursing.

These collaborations complement our highly skilled and respected local medical staff. We are one of only nine rural referral centers in the state, and we are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Cayuga Medical Center is a New York State Department of Health certified Stroke Center. We are designated as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Our high-field Open MRI services are accredited by the American College of Radiology. We have received the prestigious Patient Safety Award from the NYS Department of Health. Our Radiation Medicine program is state-of-the-art and we are a premier affiliate of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In short, we are delighted to be able to report that after decades of hard work and planning, medical and surgical services that residents once had to seek elsewhere are available right here in the community.

The caregivers at Cayuga Medical Center want to help you and the people you love get, and stay, well. If you walk through our doors in need of care, we pledge to you that we will bring to bear the comprehensive resources of our medical center in the service of raising and protecting your level of health and vitality.

Our Mission Statement

Cayuga Health System will remain the region’s leading healthcare system, and most trusted driver of integrated health services, together with valued partners.  We empower our people and employ our capabilities to equitably improve the well-being of the communities we serve.

Our Vision Statement

To be an essential organization that inclusively and cooperatively drives superior health outcomes and demonstrable community benefit.

Our Core Values

Clinical Excellence

We value our ability to provide the very best results to our patients, right here in our community. We partner with Centers of Excellence and participate in national benchmarking studies.

Customer Service

We value customer service, as we take care of our patients and their families, in our relationships with our doctors, and in our interactions with colleagues. We monitor customer service through a relationship with external customer satisfaction auditor, Press Ganey.


We value each other as colleagues and mentors, and we value our patients, neighbors, friends, and community partners.

Financial Integrity

We value fiscal integrity while striving to meet community needs through investments in state-of-the-art equipment, renovations to our facilities, and development of new programs and services. We have been operating in the black since 1981, and were recently recognized by the Consumer Value Index as a Top 100 Hospital for the value we contribute to the community.


We value our partners in the local health community, spanning the spectrum of care from acupuncture to wellness, from prevention to palliation, and from acute care to life care.

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