CORNWALL - Orange County Executive Candidate Steve Neuhaus is asking the leadership at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital to keep its Emergency Room open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Neuhaus recently met with St. Luke officials and felt their preliminary discussions were positive.
"I believe that St. Luke’s is open to seeking solutions. I want them to keep the ER open 24 hours a day and I am asking St. Luke’s to give me time to work on a solution if elected County Executive," said Neuhaus. "We want to keep 24-hour healthcare available. Making a decision to close without examining all the alternatives is not acceptable and I am asking St. Luke’s to take another look at it. I pledge to work with them and all parties involved to find a solution."
Earlier this month, St. Luke’s asked the state Health Department for permission to reduce the hours of operation of its Cornwall emergency department to 12 per day.
Neuhaus also called upon the area’s State Legislative delegation to lobby the Department of Health for emergency aid as has been provided elsewhere. Ellenville hospital in Ulster County received significant state aid as part of a restructuring to keep their emergency department open and maintain their hospital. Neuhaus also pointed to efforts in Sidney, Delaware County, where aggressive partnerships between that Town and Bassett healthcare, along with supplemental state aid, allowed emergency services to be maintained on a 24-hour basis.
Neuhaus says that the nature of emergency care is changing.
"Key to our success must be boosting community usage of the facility and developing new management strategies. Healthcare is a changing industry. If elected County Executive, I will bring the major healthcare players in this region to the table and find a solution," Neuhaus said.