Updated 07/09/2012 10:01 PM
Health Alliance recommends closure of Kingston Hospital
After a meeting with the State Board of Health and the Office of Mental Health, Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley has announced its plans to move forward with the closure of a Kingston hospital. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on the plan.
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KINGSTON, N.Y. -- After months of debate, the Health Alliance of Hudson Valley announced a plan to close the doors of Kingston Hospital. After losing $10 million last year running both Kingston Hospital and Benedictine Hospital, the group says something had to change.
“What facility it’s in is not the most important component,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.
But Hein says the quality of health care, along with jobs, is.
Hein said, “It’s imperative that we have this comprehensive, high quality health care available for everyone.”
Under the new plan, Benedictine Hospital will run as a single, full-service, non-sectarian community hospital, with no limitations on reproductive services.
According to the CEO and President of Health Alliance, David Lundquist, the number of hospital beds will be reduced from the 300 currently shared between the two hospitals. The organization plans to retain as many quality patient services as possible, but will be letting many of its employees go. That's something Hein isn't happy to hear.
“The jobs in our community are critical,” Hein said.
Together, the hospitals currently employ 1,800 people, but officials say layoffs will happen when Kingston Hospital closes.
“Obviously we are deeply concerned about this and want to be able to work with both the officials at the hospital, as well as our state and county officials, as well as our federal officials to ensure that we do whatever we can to help mitigate that situation,” Hein said.
Health Alliance says state officials are supportive of the organization's preliminary plan. It says as the plan moves forward, more specifics will be provided to the community.