The Week In Review-The Weekend Ahead

St. Luke’s Pulling Plug on Cornwall ER

A fleet of ambulances packed into St. Luke’s emergency room parking area in Cornwall. (photo provided)

By Mark Gerlach

After pausing a decision to close its Cornwall emergency room, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital reactivated the closure, which is scheduled to happen next month.

The Cornwall emergency room is now schedule to close on the morning of Jan. 12. The facility averages less than two patients per hour, an announcement said.

To help ameliorate a potential increase in patients at the hospital’s Newburgh emergency room, the hospital plans to increase services there, such as adding valet parking and increasing its “fast track” hours, which “allows for triage of less emergent cases,” the announcement said.

The hospital also plans to add nurses and providers at its Newburgh emergency room, Dr. Scot Hill, hospital chairman and medical director of emergency services, said.

The news comes after the hospital said in September it was pumping the brakes on the closure. The initial closing date was Oct 1. Several elected officials, including emergency services personnel, vocally oppose the closure.

“It’s going to be a burden on us,” Michael Bigg, chief of the New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, said in a previous interview with The Sentinel and Orange County Post. “What are they going to close next?”

The closure will help St. Luke’s “align” with “healthcare reform trends and initiatives,” a July press release said. The state asked hospitals to scale back “unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits by 25 percent,” and closing the Cornwall emergency room would “result in a $3.2 million improvement on the hospital’s bottom line.”

To read the full article see the Friday, Dec. 16 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.

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