November 3, 2017




Open Access Primary Care comes to Cornwall

Cusack-McGuirk and Skoufis announce the "... proactive model
of population health"

CORNWALL - St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital closed the Cornwall campus emergency department last January, raising a lot of local concern about access to urgent care.

On Thursday, hospital officials announced what they are calling “Open Access Primary Care.”

Hospital President and CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk said this is not intended to be an exact same-level replacement of the emergency room, but a new approach to making immediate urgent care available in the Cornwall area.

“We are going under a really proactive model of population health and really trying to keep trying to keep this population healthy. We have an ED five miles away and that still supports and will support this campus always,” Cusack-McGuirk said.  “We’re one hospital, two campuses.  The open access primary care is really an extension of the primary care office and the capabilities of primary care backed up by its lab and radiology.”

Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury), at odds with Cusack-McGuirk when the closure of the emergency department was announced, praised her for not letting up on restoring a needed level of care.

He said he was willing to be part of the effort.

“Dozen subsequent meetings, conference calls, discussions, etc., to discuss what we’re announcing here today,” Skoufis said.  “There was some pushing, there was some prodding, but end of the day, this is really a momentous occasion and it’s because we’re changing the trajectory of the Cornwall campus.”

Town of Cornwall Supervisor Richard Randazzo agreed.

“To me it’s a very big deal for the community because people feared, when the emergency room closed, it was like ‘where do we go, what do we do if something happens,’ so by having this open concept for access on an urgent care level, with the backup support of lab services, radiational, people will have a comfort level that they will have some place to go in the event of an emergency,” Randazzo said.

Cusack-McGuirk said they are not stopping with this.  She called Open Access Primary Care “one piece of the bigger picture.”


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