May 31, 2013

Fate of Lake Placid ER on hold for 60 days

SARANAC LAKE — Trustees at Adirondack Health decided Thursday evening to table their next step in hospital restructuring.

They will spend up to 60 days giving further study to the plan to convert the emergency room at the Adirondack Medical Center site in Lake Placid into an urgent-care center. 

The board met to discuss Adirondack Medical Center’s fiscal recovery plan, which included the possible change to the emergency room. 

Board meetings are not open to the public, but in a statement issued about 9:45 p.m., hospital spokesman Joe Riccio said: “The board was presented with a summary of public input from the numerous community meetings on the conversion of the Lake Placid emergency room to an Immediate Care Center. 

“Upon review, the board has decided there is a need to factor in additional study, community input and give the process more thought in the context of our broader mission and strategic plan. We plan to finalize this discussion in the next 60 days. 

“Meeting the needs of today’s patients and residents and preparing for a bright future for Adirondack Health is a common goal we all share.”


Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall, who helped guide the merger of Lake Placid Memorial Hospital and General Hospital of Saranac Lake more than 20 years ago and who chaired the Adirondack Medical Center Board of Trustees through early 2000s, welcomed the respite.

“Sixty days is not a long time. However, I think the (North Elba) supervisor (Roby Politi) and I would agree that we believe the board had not provided satisfactory answers to all of the questions that were raised addressing the impact on all community organizations that are affected by the prospect of the emergency-room closing and, of course, on our own residents and visitors,” he told the Press-Republican after the announcement Thursday night.

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