O'Mara launches online petition to save the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Updated)

Thomas F. O'Mara

July 16, 2013

Albany, N.Y., July 16—One week after the Cuomo administration unveiled its plan to shut down the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Elmira PC) next year, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) has launched an online, “Join The Fight!” petition to rally public support for keeping the Elmira PC open.

The announcement of O’Mara’s online petition comes after last Wednesday’s announcement by the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) of a comprehensive, statewide reorganization plan that will close the Elmira PC and psychiatric hospitals in eight other communities throughout New York, mostly upstate. 

“It remains impossible to justify, in my view, and I will continue to urge Governor Cuomo and his administration to reconsider the future of the Elmira PC.  This online petition is one additional way to help rally public support.  We’re not about to give up the fight to somehow find a way to ensure that the Elmira PC’s tradition of care, prevention and treatment for patients and families throughout our rural communities is carried on,” said O’Mara.  “I’ve strongly made the case, together with many other local leaders, that the Elmira PC is an irreplaceable cornerstone of this region’s and state’s mental health system.   The Elmira PC has demonstrated an undeniable record as New York State’s most cost effective, efficient, innovative, high quality and successful provider of mental health services.  There simply isn’t a network of community-based organizations across this region to take the place of the Elmira PC.”

[July 18th Update: See last night's story on WENY-TV]  

O’Mara’s “Join The Fight!” petition is aimed at sparking widespread public support for the continued operation of the Elmira PC and to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to reconsider the decision and recognize the fundamental importance of the Elmira PC to the 11-county region it has long served with dedicated, distinction and high quality care.  

The hospitals will be closed and existing services consolidated within 15 “regional centers of excellence” OMH plans to open across the state.  Under the plan, Elmira PC, Buffalo PC and Western New York Children’s PC will be merged into one regional center known as the Great Lakes RCE that will be located in Buffalo.  The plans calls for no inpatient services to remain at Elmira, but the center will continue as a “community hub” of the Great Lakes RCE and provide highly specialized community services.

CLICK HERE to Join The Fight!

You can also stay updated on efforts to save the Elmira PC on the following website: www.supportepc.org