January 11, 2017
Assemblyman James Skoufis on Cornwall Emergency Room Closure
Tomorrow morning at 7:00am, the Cornwall emergency room closes its doors forever. I'm truly sorry to the people of Cornwall, Blooming Grove, Highlands, New Windsor, and Woodbury that I was not able to do more to keep the ER open. I am heartbroken that St. Luke's executives are getting away with their decision.
If it were up to the hospital's management, the emergency room would have closed three years ago. I'm proud of the fight I led alongside so many in the community to keep this critical, life-saving service open these past years. There's not a doubt in my mind that lives were saved thanks to the physicians and nurses at the Cornwall ER since late 2013, the hospital's first attempt to shut down the department.
Let's be clear: the emergency room's closure is the finale of the systematic decimation of the Cornwall Campus. The decision was made years ago, following the merger with Newburgh, to eviscerate Cornwall, bit by bit. And, sadly, given that St. Luke's is a private entity, they are able to get away with putting their bottom line ahead of community and patient interests.
When it became obvious to me that St. Luke's executives were once again planning to shut down the ER – and there were no regulatory hurdles left to stop them – I urged the hospital’s management to contract with a reputable, local provider to run a 24/7 advanced urgent care in the emergency room's location. While there's no replacing an ER, a round-the-clock urgent care capable of treating serious ailments would certainly mitigate some of the fallout from closing the emergency room.
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