Hospital President Joan Cusack-McGuirk and Assemblyman James Skoufis
annonce the new service
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.
“To go 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
Cusack-McGuirk said they are not stopping with this. She called Open Access
Primary Care “one piece of the bigger picture.”