As I read the headline “HealthAlliance Seeking Partner” on July 22, it brought back a sense of real sadness over what should have been. For those of you who have forgotten, in 1998, the Kingston, Benedictine and Northern Dutchess Hospitals finally had received the approval from the New York Archdiocese to merge, forming what was called Cross River Health Care. At Kingston Hospital’s board meeting set for final approval, Kingston Hospital decided to pull out of the agreement, thus ending what many of us had worked for years to bring about.
During the next 10 years, Kingston brought in a series of interim CEO’s to try to right a ship which had begun to sink. At the same time, the state Health Department began forcing hospitals to consolidate in an effort to bring fiscal stability to many regions of the state. Thus the creation of what we now know as HealthAlliance of the HudsonValley. This affiliation, I hoped, would bring about all of the good that had been lost when Kingston’s board pulled out of the 1998 agreement.
As I watched the affiliation unfold, I became concerned as I saw HealthAlliance decimate Benedictine Hospital by removing several major services, so that in my opinion, Benedictine could never withdraw from the affiliation. An example of which was millions of dollars spent on an Emergency Room on Broadway, with the heliport on Mary’s Avenue. We now find ourselves planning for a single campus, which every study we ever did in the ’80s and ’90s knew would be located on Mary’s Avenue.
Fast-forward several years and it now appears that the affiliation forced on Kingston and Benedictine by the New York State Department of Health has not produced any of the 1998 anticipated benefits, and thus our future community health care decisions will probably be made either in Poughkeepsie or Albany.
Dennis L. Pitcock, Ulster Park
Thanks for the support
Please accept my sincerest thanks for all your support in the primary election. This has been a very interesting season for politics throughout New York State. I am proud that Ward 4 is waking up in understanding the importance of our involvement in the political arena. Without the support of many people in this ward, the outcome of the primary election could have been very different. Thank you for coming out and voting. Your votes have encouraged a cycle of change in the representation for Ward 4 residents.
The primary race has come and gone and the General election day is just around the corner. I challenge the thinking of the Ward 4 residents to become more involved not only in voting on Nov. 5, 2013, but also going forward with positive community involvement. This is the melting-pot ward and I am proud of our diversity. I encourage all residents to become more involved in helping me to change the perception of Ward 4. More importantly, please help me to change our graduation rate to not only be comparable to the rest of the city but to surpass all expectations.
I will be working on some projects to encourage educational advancement; economic growth (through job-search assistance), public safety and inclusive representation. I will begin with community meetings in the very near future. The first meeting will be to get Ward 4 residents introduced to some city officials at a positive meet-and-greet. The date, time and place will be announced. Please remember to rock the vote by coming out November 5, to the Hodge Center.
Nina Dawson, Democratic nominee for Ward 4, Kingston