By Mark Gerlach
St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital will close its emergency department in Cornwall on Oct. 1, an announcement from the hospital said. The decision was made by the hospital’s board of trustees. The move will “align” St. Luke’s with “healthcare reform trends and initiatives,” a press release from St. Luke’s said.
“As healthcare evolves, we must look at all programs and services to ensure that we are best meeting the needs of our patients in a way that maintains our commitment to quality and is financially sustainable for the entire health system,” Michelle Rider, chair of the SLCH Board of Trustees, said.
New York State is requiring hospitals to cut back on “unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits by 25 percent,” the announcement from the hospital said. Closing the unit will “result in a $3.2 million improvement on the hospital’s bottom line.”
Some do not agree with the decision, however.
“St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital’s proposal was an affront to the community three years ago and it is an affront now,” a brief statement from Assemblyman James Skoufis, who’s running for reelection, said. “The hospital’s plan to close the Cornwall emergency room will not move forward without a fight.”
“I am disappointed that St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital has decided to close its emergency department in Cornwall,” Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said in a statement. “In the past, when community hospitals have been at risk, New York State has stepped in with emergency aid and assistance… I encourage state officials to work with the state (Department of Health) to deliver emergency aid to St. Luke’s, as has been done elsewhere to save hospital services.”
To read the full article see the Friday, July 22 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.