St. Lawrence Psych Center To See No Job Losses...For Now
It appears the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg will see no job losses - at least for now - even though the state plans to move two treatment services out of the area.
There are currently 92 beds and 145 jobs in the sex offender treatment program.
More than 500 people work at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.
It appears that jobs would be preserved by gradually closing inpatient wards over the next three years and creating new positions for outpatient services.
The state said employees would be offered training for different jobs as well as transfers to other state agencies.
But, Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson isn't so sure.
"From what I see, there's a potential for a loss of jobs for our community which will have a devastating impact," he said.
"It might have a very bad effect here in St. Lawrence County if all these patients have to go to Utica, Syracuse or someplace else," he said.
The state's plan is not etched in stone.
State lawmakers are expected to have a significant say because they control funding for the Office of Mental Health.
The following is a statement from state Assembly member Addie Russell (D. - 116th District):
“The Office of Mental Health’s decision to no longer provide inpatient services at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center will have a detrimental impact on not only the patients and families who utilize the facility, but also the hardworking staff who provide these critical services. These few regional centers of excellence in Syracuse and Utica are not sufficiently close to the local populations that need them here.
The following is a statement from state Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District):
The Civil Service Employee Association issued the following statement:
CSEA today sharply criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to consolidate state psychiatric centers as vague, irresponsible and likely to cost local taxpayers.
Sunday, September 21, 2014, Watertown, NY
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