Talks Underway To Preserve Psych Center
There's optimism that some services could be saved at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie and Sen. Thomas Libous sat down Tuesday with representatives of the governor's office to discuss the plan that would end local inpatient services and instead relocate some patients elsewhere.
Ritchie says the bill she co-sponsored to postpone closing the psychiatric center might have prompted the meeting.
But, she adds, talking is just a start.
"Was anything settled today? No, but certainly the doors were left open to continue the dialog and come up with potentially some suggestions on some changes that could be proposed," she said.
"I think it's a great sign that the governor's people were willing to listen and so I would say that is a real positive as far as the discussion goes."
Libous tells 7 News he's encouraged and both he and Ritchie will continue to offer alternatives to what they call a flawed plan.
The state Office of Mental Health's plan was unveiled last summer and would shrink the state's system of 24 psychiatric hospitals to 15, with none located north or south of the state Thruway.
Under the plan, adult and children's inpatient treatment services at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center will be shifted to Syracuse and Utica beginning next year.
More than 500 local jobs would be affected under the plan.
Friday, September 19, 2014, Watertown, NY
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