Democratic Dutchess legislators allege county cuts medical services at stabilization center

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Minority Democrats on the Dutchess County Legislature have accused the Republican county leadership of making unannounced staffing and services changes at the county stabilization center in Poughkeepsie. That facility is the county’s walk-in site for residents facing addiction and mental health crises.

Legislature Minority Leader Rebecca Edwards said all you have to do is pick up the phone. “You want the people who use the stabilization center to know the nurse is there. They are finding, in fact, there is no nurse available now. We understand there is a shift and no nurses are available when people arrive there is not a medical diagnosis anymore,” she said.

But, Republican County Executive Marcus Molinaro said that is not so; there have been no cutbacks.

“We have increased funding to the stabilization center. We have strengthened our partnership with a number of agencies to expand the reach of the stabilization center and we have created a model that has been recognized across the country and is saving lives. In 2020, we increased funding by 33 percent,” he said. Molinaro added ” The Center has always been a non-medical center.  Those with medical issues, which are rarely seen, are referred to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital (MHRH).  The Stabilization Center is not an urgent care or medical center, nor is it a full detox center; and was never designed to be.

The Democrats, meanwhile, said the county has no need to invest over $132 million to build a new jail, especially when bail reform laws have resulted in the reduced jail population.