Press-Republican

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May 4, 2013

Painful cut discussed in Lake Placid

(Continued)

LAKE PLACID —

Lake Placid Memorial merged with General Hospital at Saranac Lake in 1991, and in a cooperative agreement signed then, the property would return to the Town of North Elba if the hospital were to close.

“If you do close 24-hour emergency services,” Keegan asked, “will you be paying rent to the town (for the hospital space)?”

“I would hope we would work out an orderly transition with the town,” Urban responded.

The complex merger in ‘91 carried an agreement to maintain emergency care for Lake Placid residents and visitors, including visiting athletes.

CARE FOR ATHLETES

Over the years, improvements to medical and diagnostic equipment have developed the larger Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

And orthopedic services located at the Lake Placid hospital, where there are just two hospital beds, have flourished. 

Orthopedic and rehabilitation therapy centers would eventually move to Uihlein also, if the Lake Placid closure is approved.

Former Lake Placid Mayor and North Elba Supervisor Shirley Seney brought the importance of medical care for athletes to the discussion.

“We are an Olympic village,” she said, standing at the microphone.

“Young people are being prepared to be Olympic athletes. We have got to have a medical facility in this town.”

SARANAC LAKE SPACE

Dr. Herbert Bergamini, who has practiced medicine for decades here, raised concern about outlying communities.

“The Lake Placid hospital also serves Wilmington and Keene,” the longtime doctor said.

“Asking those people to go (12 miles) further isn’t fair. We definitely need an emergency service here 24/7.”

Bergamini suggested Adirondack Health officials hold another informational session in July and August when the summer residents arrive.

Mellissa Furnia, an emergency medical technician with Lake Placid Rescue Squad, asked the hospital leadership team where it would put the additional emergency patients transported to AMC Saranac Lake. 

The emergency department there, she said, has eight rooms and one set aside for mental-health treatment.

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