Lobby effort continues for return of Kingston mental health services


KINGSTON – The Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley, headquartered in Kingston, ended its in-patient services for addiction several months ago, and that has not gone without notice.

And a gathering outside Kingston City Hall, adjacent Health Alliance’s Broadway Campus, helped make that point Tuesday.

“We’re all standing in solidarity, healthcare workers, elected leaders, community members, advocates for mental health and addiction, all saying this is unacceptable in a huge surge of need,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. “We want to make it very clear we are not going to let this pass without the community raising our voices.”

They gathered under the rain as noisy traffic passed on Broadway, and nurses like Deborah Stewart were there to fight the closure of in-patient services.

That closure forced the layoffs of nurses from the addiction unit, but Stewart survived the purge and went to work at Health Alliance’s outpatient facility.

“I don’t know how we don’t need the services in this community. There are people all over the place that are suffering,” she said. “I hope we are affective at bringing back the in-patient services.”

Health Alliance is part of the Westchester Medical Center umbrella organization and that in-patient unit was transferred to the organization’s MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

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