EJ Noble Submits Plan To State

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The administrator of E.J. Noble Hospital in Gouverneur submitted a plan to correct 19 'deficiencies' to the state Friday.

Charles Conole would not reveal the contents of the report, but said he submitted it the state health department, along with proposals from Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown and Canton-Potsdam Hospital to manage the hospital's laboratory.

Thursday, Conole said he would pick between the two. However, the hospital board reportedly split on which proposal to favor, so Conole sent both.

"We could live with either one," Conole said.

As for when the health department will decide on whether the lab - and with it, the hospital - can reopen, Conole said "We're at the mercy of the state."

Meanwhile, E.J. Noble workers, their families and the community rallied outside the facility Friday.

"We all need the hospital open. We need the care in the community. We need their support as much as they need our help," said Dawn Bango, one of he hospital's laid-off workers.

"It's my job and I love what I do and I want to go back to doing that in Gouverneur," added Lacey Strawder, another worker.

The state Health Department closed the hospital's laboratory last Friday after a series of problems, including an error that led to a botched blood transfusion.

Many - but not all - of the people rallying outside the hospital were members of the Service Employees International Union Local 1199.

The union filed a grievance earlier this week accusing the hospital of not following the collective bargaining agreement when it comes to layoffs and seniority.

SEIU said 58 of its members were told not to report to work.

Verna Aldridge, one of the people in the crowd, was there because her husband had a medical emergency Thursday night.

"We had to drive him by rescue, with me behind him, almost 35 - 45 minutes to get care and then we sat three hours in the waiting room," she said.

 See our earlier report
 

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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