Meeting grows heated over Harrisville Health Center

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:13 AM EST
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HARRISVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Some Harrisville Health Center patients are accusing a town supervisor of acting on a conflict of interest and changing his constituents’ medical care without their consent.

Some of them voiced their frustrations at a town board meeting Tuesday night.

In the town of Diana, Lewis County Health System has been contracted to run the Harrisville Health Center and provides a doctor there.

But after a disagreement between town Supervisor David Parow and an ICHS representative, the town board told the hospital they would not be renewing that contract, which ends this month.

When ICHS determined the health clinic needed improvements, they sent workers evaluate what’s needed, but Parow felt it was the town’s responsibility.

“Why would you go and get quotes and have quotes on windows without discussing it with the landlord?” he said. “That building is ours.”

Parow says while he tried sorting out whose responsibility maintenance is, the LCHS representative suggested the town sell the building to them, which offended Parow.

“It gave me a very poor feeling and therefore I reached out to Clifton-Fine to see if there was even any interest there,” he said. “Well, there is.”

But some think cutting ties with LCHS and trying to contract with Clifton-Fine instead was a matter of personal preference because Parow’s physician works there.

In meeting minutes from May of 2019, it is written that Parow asked “Should the town board take the necessary measures to get back said PA.”

“If that’s not the wrong thing to do, I don’t know what is,” Kelly Ritz said.

Those who use the Harrisville clinic are also reluctant to go from a doctor to a physician assistant.

“We’re very fortunate as a small community to have that doctor here,” Rick Bearor said. “We may never have that situation again.”

At the meeting, the CEO of Clifton-Fine Hospital did say they did not have the staff to supply a doctor to the clinic if they’re contracted.

After three hours of heated discussion, the board went into executive session to consult with their lawyer.

They emerged with the promise to reach out to all area providers for leasing the health center.

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