Comments by Mail
Buffalo PC has been very successful in treating my daughter. Please make Buffalo PC a Center of Excellence.
Elmira Psychiatric Center is far more than an inpatient hospital to this community. The impact of its community programs has been woven into our fabric since it opened in 1974. Many of the parents who appear in my court are better able to navigate the challenges and care for their children because of the extensive reach of Elmira's ACT teams, clinics and Intensive Case Managers.
Elmira College Nursing Students:
My rotation through Elmira Psychiatric Center was very beneficial to my future career as a nurse. EPC is an invaluable healthcare facility for the Southern Tier. EPC provides nursing students the opportunity for learning in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I have a better grasp of milieu therapy and its effects of preparing clients to live and function in the community. Through my experience at EPC, I have been able to learn hands on about psychiatric disorders, treatments and beneficial patient results. If you close Elmira Psychiatric Center, we are removing a vital resource for those in desperate need of immediate and all encompassing treatment. Although I understand that these patients will not be neglected and will receive treatment even if EPC closes, I believe the quality of care will decrease dramatically. If Elmira PC were closed many patients from rural areas would be without services.
EPC continues even at this moment to adjust and enhance its own operations to achieve ever better and stronger regional care, highlighted by its developing partnership with one of the Southern Tier's leading health care systems – Arnot Health, on the establishment of an exciting new Osteopathic Psychiatric Residency Program at Arnot Ogden Medical Center. EPC is the only one of OMH psychiatric centers which has never focused on a large number of inpatient beds not relied on facility based fee for services outpatient programs.
Comment1: Rural areas, such as Schuyler County have little to offer people who aren't “normal.” Since going to the Club, a very deep void in my husband's life has been filled. He is beginning to feel some self worth. It is a relief to know that he is able to find some degree of happiness through rural psych programs, like Rainbow Club, available right here. We could never travel any further to get help for him. If it were no longer available, Joe would miss it greatly.
Comment 2: The majority of the Rainbow Chasers Club do not have a car and have very limited incomes. Will another mental health facility perhaps 100 miles away be able to transport folks who are in acute illness and have their families come to visit as part of their recovery? Would a bigger facility know and understand the rural folks' problems, especially with transportation? When thinking about your recommendations, please look very closely at what facilities serve which counties, which have a decent turnover of beds and what the demographics of the patient mix tends to be.
Comment1: Elmira Psychiatric Center has provided quality services to local consumer for decades. I would encourage you to seriously consider how the impact of losing such services would greatly affect our region both now and in years to come.
Comment2: As you make your recommendations for the much needed changes to the way NY provides care to this sector of the population, it is my hope that you consider the vast demographic area that Elmira services as such a small hospital, the stabilization of patients in a reasonable amount of time. And the competent outpatient services that are provided that assist the mentally ill.
Change is nothing new for our workforce. EPC has proven that it is a partner with the community and a friend to the mental health population. Please keep the professional staff connected to the programs as they go into the communities to care for the needs of the mental health consumers.
Children and Families:
The children I help teach and work with are very special indeed. They are not able to go to regular school and making them ride further to ill equipped school with untrained staff would not be right.
Comment 1: My sibling has been hospitalized many times over the years at St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center and we believe our family visits aided and shortened his recovery times. If we had to drive to Syracuse to see visit him, it would have been very hard to accomplish.
Comment 2: For as long as I can remember. The St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center has been one of the greatest assets for the people of Northern New York. The counties served by St. Lawrence PC already have the lowest per capita income in New York State. In St. Lawrence County alone, over one third of its population received some sort of public assistance. Travel to some distant inpatient unit would be very difficult for someone in a fragile mental state, as well as financially challenging.
Comment 3: I am writing to express concern with the possible closure of St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center. The job loss it would create and geographical difficulties that would result would be devastating to the counties affected.
St. Lawrence serves the vast area of Northern New York as an in-patient facility. Northern New York is the most rural and medically underserved region of the State. While expansion of outpatient services is being considered in lieu of psychiatric centers, this approach in the northern tier would be severely disadvantaged by difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified professionals/clinicians. Winter travel would also be another impediment.
I am very sensitive to the needs of my constituents on all health care matters, especially mental health., Access to care is critically important and I cannot emphasize enough that when the cost and the time of traveling becomes excessive for patients and their families, the may make decisions that are clearly not in their own best interests.
We have seen first hand those we believe would be better served on an inpatient basis. We don't claim to be experts on this matter, but what we see makes us realize the value of professional psychiatric care. It is easy to say that more can assimilate if given the opportunity. And there is no doubt that some can but we see many that continue to struggle with issues that are best served in a professional mental health setting.