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"In all frankness, I definitely should have moved at a lot quicker pace." - Administrator Charles Canole.

EJ Noble Hospital in Gouverneur struggles to reopen

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EJ Noble hospital in Gouverneur is working correct problems in its laboratory, so the hospital can start admitting patients again. Administrator Charles Canole says the lab failed state testing, and was forced to close late last week by the New York health department.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

Canole says without the lab, the hospital can’t function, so its patients have been sent to other facilities.

He says problems with the lab weren’t being addressed, and blames himself for the closure.

"It’s fine to say you don’t believe in micromanagement, on the other hand when there’s indicators you do have to move in and correct the problem.  In all frankness, I definitely should have moved at a lot quicker pace."

Canole says he’s hired a new medical director in the past couple of weeks.  
And he’s talking with other hospitals about a possible lab management affiliation.  WWNY-TV reported late Tuesday that Samaritan Medical Center has agreed to help E.J. Noble fix the problems.  And that Canton-Potsdam is sending technicians to Gouveneur today to assess the lab.  

The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that a man was given the wrong blood type during a transfusion, and subsequently died, and that’s why the lab was closed.  Canole has denied that the incorrect transfusion caused the man’s death.  He told NCPR that the lab’s problems were the result of state proficiency testing.

“This isn’t done on a patient, but this is a protocol set up where you test for accuracy. To guarantee that when you come in for bloodwork, that everything would be done according to quality of care standards.”

Canole says 70 hospital employees have been placed on leave.   WWNY reports that the Service Employees International Union Local 1199 has filed a grievance.  The Union says the hospital is not following the collective bargaining agreement when it comes to layoffs and seniority.

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