Press-Republican

Local News

May 30, 2013

Lake Placid, North Elba oppose ER closure

LAKE PLACID — The Village of Lake Placid and Town of North Elba strongly oppose a proposal to revamp the Adirondack Medical Center/Lake Placid Emergency Department into an urgent-care facility.

At a joint public meeting Tuesday evening, Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall and North Elba Town Supervisor Robert Politi read a letter they wrote together calling for “an independent professional study of all possible alternatives.”

The statement, endorsed by both the Village Board and the Town Council, was sent to the Adirondack Health Board of Trustees.

“The past couple of months we’ve gone through (a process to) gather exhaustive input from the community (about the proposal),” Adirondack Health Communications Director Joe Riccio said on Wednesday.

“The board will take (the letter) into consideration and give it as much consideration and weight as it will the other input received (from other sources).”

The Adirondack Health Board meets tonight, and the proposal will be discussed, Riccio said. 

He couldn’t say whether a vote would take place at the session.

Should the Emergency Department close, the next closest location would be Adirondack Medical Center/Saranac Lake.

‘UNANSWERED QUESTIONS’

Members of the Adirondack Medical Board of Trustees and a few physicians attended Tuesday’s meeting, Lake Placid Village Trustee Jason Leon said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

In the joint letter, Politi cited questions he said went unanswered during two public forums on the proposal.

They include whether more ambulances would be needed to offset turn-around times; whether a greater demand would be placed on EMS personnel; if the loss of the Lake Placid emergency room would lead to longer waiting times in at Adirondack Medical Center/Saranac Lake and what employment issues would be associated with emergency-room job loss or travel modifications.

People at the meeting clapped after the letter was read, North Elba Town Clerk Laurie Curtis Dudley said.

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