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Adirondack Health's Lake Placid facility. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Adirondack Health's Lake Placid facility. Photo: Mark Kurtz

ORDA opposes closure of Lake Placid ER

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A powerful state-run organization is opposing plans to shut down the hospital emergency room in Lake Placid by Adirondack Health.

In a public letter sent this week to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise newspaper, the Olympic Regional Development Authority argued that closure of the emergency room would "have a negative impact" on the community.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

We oppose the emergency room closure in Lake Placid and urge Adirondack Health to look at all other measures to make this facility both effective and efficient. -Pat Barrett, ORDA chair
The letter, signed by ORDA board chairman Pat Barrett, argued that "guests, athletes in training, and competitors" who travel to Lake Placid rely on the emergency room.

Barrett urged hospital administrators to look at other ways to "make this facility both effective and efficient."

Closure of the Lake Placid ER has become a major flashpoint in recent weeks, as Adirondack Health has struggled with deep deficits, stemming in part from red ink in the emergency room and from nursing homes in Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

Hospital CEO Chandler Ralph has argued that the emergency room sees little use and has been a financial drain at a time when Adirondack Health has been forced to lay off staff.

She has proposed turning the facility into an urgent care center that would operate twelve hours each day.

According to the Enterprise, Ralph and other staff from the hospital were scheduled to meet with local official from Lake Placid and North Elba yesterday.

A final decision could come as early as tomorrow night at an Adirondack Health board meeting in Saranac Lake.  ORDA's opposition marks the first time that state officials have entered this debate.

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