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EJ Noble board chairman Michael Burgess, left, and Canton-Potsdam Hospital CEO David Acker, right, discuss the future of the Gouverneur hospital. Photo: Sarah Harris
EJ Noble board chairman Michael Burgess, left, and Canton-Potsdam Hospital CEO David Acker, right, discuss the future of the Gouverneur hospital. Photo: Sarah Harris

What's happening to EJ Noble Hospital in Governeur?

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North Country healthcare leaders gave more details on the decision to dissolve EJ Noble Hospital in Gouverneur and form a two hospital system with Canton-Potsdam.

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

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Yesterday leaders from both hospitals met with the press to explain the dissolution. They say that EJ Noble in Governeur has been mired in debt for years. Last fall the state department of health closed the hospital’s lab because of safety concerns. And the small rural facility couldn’t pay off their $16 million in debt with their $13 million of revenue.

David Acker is CEO of Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

"There’s a direct correlation between financial performance and the quality of services that are rendered. It doesn’t mean that the nurses and the doctors here don’t work very hard and aren’t very capable. But it’s that support system and lack of equipment and infrastructure that really allows them to function at their highest level."

EJ Noble would be renamed Gouverneur Hospital in a new partnership with Canton-Potsdam Hospital. Photo: Julie Grant
EJ Noble would be renamed Gouverneur Hospital in a new partnership with Canton-Potsdam Hospital. Photo: Julie Grant
But hospital administrators didn’t want to declare bankruptcy. Instead, they plan to dissolve EJ Noble and create a new hospital in its place, in the same building, called Governeur Hospital.

And the new hospital will be part of a two-hospital system run by Canton-Potsdam.  

Acker says this way, both facilities will be able to access more capital and recruit more doctors.

And he says that EJ Noble needs a fresh start. 

"That trust – that the care that’s going to be provided is always going to be high quality and good and the hospital is going to be there tomorrow, I think is really important."

 217 people work at EJ Noble. Acker says that they will need to re-apply for jobs once the new hospital is established.

The state department of health needs to approve the new plan.

Acker says he hopes the Governeur Hospital will be established by October. 

 

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