KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan has asked Westchester Medical Center Health Network, the parent organization to the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, to reactivate the behavioral health services in Kingston. The closest location for those services is now in Poughkeepsie.
In late March, the State Health Department identified the Mary’s Avenue campus of HealthAlliance for an urgent conversion as a potential regional COVID-19 specialized care center. In early April, HealthAlliance temporarily shut down 40 inpatient mental health beds and 20 beds dedicated to chemical dependency and detoxification to make room for the potential coronavirus surge.
“Although the need for COVID-19 surge capacity has thankfully been averted, HealthAlliance has been unwilling to commit to reactivating any of the 60 behavioral health beds that were impacted,” Ryan wrote to Westchester Med Network officials. “Given the critical need for these behavioral health services in Ulster County, which will only be compounded by a likely surge in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of these beds would be devastating.”
The county executive said that as the number of mental health issues and substance abuse cases result from the pandemic, “we must guarantee that all residents have ample access to vital local services and come together to ensure our community is receiving the support it deserves.”