Massena hospital board votes to close Brasher clinic

Massena Memorial Hospital changes

MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - Massena Memorial Hospital could be closing its Brasher Falls Family Health Center.

The hospital’s board of managers voted Friday morning to close the clinic.

It found keeping the clinic open could prevent it from taking part in a program to benefit rural hospitals. Patients there can seek care elsewhere in Massena's system or at Canton-Potsdam's clinic in Brasher Falls.

“It’s a good clinic," said Massena Memorial Hospital CEO David Bender, "they have good access to care. They have certainly access here in our other sites in Massena that will be available to the patients as well.”

Dr. Myo Win of Massena’s Brasher clinic will continue to take patients at the hospital’s Louisville clinic.

The board also voted to change the way the hospital staffs its emergency department. St. Lawrence Health System plans to staff Massena’s emergency department with its own doctors starting September 1.

“We expect to have a better level of quality of care here, at the same level as what we have right now at Canton-Potsdam. And we think it will make a big difference for us here,” said Bender.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s parent group, St. Lawrence Health System, is acquiring Massena Memorial. While it’s already managing it, this would be the first time it would actually be providing doctors. That includes Dr. Jason Lorenc, who will run Massena’s emergency department.

More will soon be known about the full scope of change that could come to the hospital. St. Lawrence Health System plans to publish a full turnaround plan. A big goal of that plan would be to put Massena Memorial back on solid financial footing.

Both moves need state approval.

The Brasher Falls clinic would close once state approval is received.

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