Letter: HealthAlliance removal of inpatient psych services

I share Legislature chair Dave Donaldson’s outrage over the removal of beds for inpatient psychiatric services to Poughkeepsie (approved with strong reservations, September 22). This has and will seriously impact our community.

A young friend who is a trauma survivor found her panic triggered by an event in her workplace. As she felt herself ebbing away, she did the safe thing and had herself admitted to what she thought was the psychiatric emergency department in Kingston Hospital, close to her home. She assumed they’d put her under observation for three days, keep her safe, perhaps suggest changes in medication. But she was whisked away, without her permission, to the Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie. To make matters worse, she was stalked there by a male resident. Men and women were on the same floor, and there wasn’t enough staff to protect her.

The maneuvering of HealthAlliance to remove psychiatric support from the Kingston area is harmful to the community and is typical of our crazy healthcare system that puts profits ahead of people’s needs. It harms us when we’re at our most vulnerable, due to the pandemic. It should not be allowed to continue, and our Legislature should stand up for our safety and health, instead of bowing down to HealthAlliance. We elected you. Fight for us!


Nancy Stiefel

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