ONEONTA, 04/17/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on a meeting he convened of local stakeholders to discuss the future of emergency psychiatric services in Otsego County and the surrounding region:
“The decision by Bassett Medical center to terminate inpatient psychiatric services has wide-ranging consequences. Today’s meeting of local stakeholders included a brief summary of what led to the decision, and more importantly, allowed for an open dialogue on actions to be taken to fill the pending treatment void.
Includes Funding for Treatment of Up to 270 Additional Residents
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the new State Budget reaffirms the state’s commitment to the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center and provides for the expansion of mental health services in the North Country.
Contained in the recently-enacted spending plan is $44 million in new funding for community-based mental health care, including $3.85 million in new funds for the creation and expansion of community-based mental health services in the North Country. The additional aid will provide treatment for up to 270 additional North Country residents.
“The North Country community fought long and hard for the protection of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center and the vitally important services the facility provides to those struggling with mental health issues and their families,” said Senator Ritchie.
ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.
'Land Transfer' Bill Aims to Get Unused Land Back on the Tax Rolls, Help Community Grow
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced she will be introducing legislation next week to transfer 160 vacant acres of surplus land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to the City of Ogdensburg as part of a long-term comprehensive program to redevelop the campus.
Senator Ritchie has been working with Ogdensburg Mayor William Nelson and City Manager John Pinkerton over the past two months to develop a plan to transform blighted properties at the 125-year-old Psychiatric Center into economic development assets to create opportunities for new jobs and growth.
The proposal was endorsed by the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force on Thursday. The Ogdensburg City Council will consider a proposal to endorse the plan Monday.
Senator Ritchie will present the legislation to members of State Assembly and State Senate delegation representing St. Lawrence County in the state legislature on Wednesday to seek their support. Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell has announced her support for the plan.
State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk today disputed claims by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) about the savings to be generated from the planned downsizing of the State’s psychiatric hospital system. By underestimating those savings, the agency is shortchanging the “Community Mental Health Reinvestment Program” by millions of dollars.
The Executive Budget proposes closing 399 beds and OMH estimates annual savings per bed to be $110,000 -- a total savings of about $43 million annually.
However, holding a billing statement from the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) Senator Tkaczyk noted that the daily rate for an inpatient bed in a state psychiatric hospital is more than $1,100, yielding annual savings of $408,000 per bed.
State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk’s legislation to strengthen the State’s community-based mental health services has been reported from the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.
Senator Tkaczyk last year introduced the “Communities of Excellence Mental Health Reinvestment Act,” which would take money saved from consolidation of the State’s psychiatric hospital system and use it to ensure that our community-based services are appropriately funded.
Similar legislation was introduced this year by Senator David Carlucci, Chairman of the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, together with Senator Tkaczyk, Ranking Democratic member on the committee, and Senator Thomas Libous, the former chair of the committee.
Senator Phil Boyle sponsors bill to avoid re-traumatization of sexual assault victims by sharing treatment sessions with offenders
February 2, 2014 - Albany, NY: In an effort to provide a safe and non-threatening outpatient treatment environment for sexual abuse victims, Senator Phil Boyle is sponsoring “Victim Safe Treatment” Bill (S.4251). The primary purpose of this bill is to create guidelines and procedures that prevent additional victimization of sexual offense victims while receiving mental health or chemical dependence treatment.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) met with members of NAMI (Naltional Alliance for Mental Illness) on January 28th in Albany and discussed the proposed State budget as it related to mental health issues. Representatives from the Schenectady area that met with Senator Farley (seated) included (left to right) Bill DeVita, Bob Corliss, Patty, Costa and Roy Neville.
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, Assemblyman Raymond Walter, Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo and West Seneca Town Supervisor Sheila Meegan joined with advocates and parents to decry the New York State Office of Mental Health’s proposal to close the Western New York Chrildren’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca and relocate its patients to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center in North Buffalo.
ERIE COUNTY - Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) was joined by several of his Western New York senate colleagues today in calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to again reconsider the closing of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca and relocating its patients to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center in North Buffalo.
“Concerns have been raised across the state about closing and consolidating specialized mental health facilities and in recent weeks we have seen the Governor address those concerns in the Southern Tier and the North Country. I am now calling on him to take a closer look at our facility in West Seneca and to again consider the negative impact its closure could have on the very unique patients it serves – children,” Gallivan said.
Republican state senators from Western New York – George Maziarz, Patrick Gallivan, Mark Grisanti and Mike Ranzenhofer – today wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to urge him to personally intervene to help save the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca. Under the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Regional Centers of Excellence Plan, the WNY CPC would be closed and its staff and residents relocated to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, which primarily provides inpatient, outpatient, and residential services to adults.Last week, Cuomo announced three mental health facilities in other parts of the state that were also slated for closure under the Centers of Excellence Plan will now remain open.