KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced Friday that the petition he launched on Wednesday, demanding that New York State deny any application(s) submitted by Westchester Medical Center Health Network requesting decertification of inpatient beds licensed to provide behavioral health (mental health and substance use) stabilization and treatment to Ulster County residents at Health Alliance Hospital, has received over 1,500 signatures from community in 48 hours.
The petition, addressed to the Commissioners of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), states, “We fervently reject the removal of these services and we are calling on the New York State OMH and OASAS to deny this waiver and insist that Westchester Medical Center Health Network immediately return these mental health and addiction services and live up to its stated commitment to ensuring our community’s health and safety.”
“In just 48 hours, we have seen a tremendous outpour of support around this issue from residents from every corner of our community,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “Now more than ever, we must guarantee that all residents have ample access to vital local services and come together to ensure our community is receiving the support it desperately needs and deserves. In the coming weeks we will continue to pressure Westchester Medical and New York State to save our mental health services and I plan to personally deliver a petition signed by thousands of our residents to Albany.”
Residents can view and sign the petition by visiting https://ulstercountyny.gov/saveourmentalhealthservices. In June, Health Alliance Hudson Valley Hospital laid off 40 staff members, despite health care workers being at the frontlines of the community’s pandemic response.
Earlier this week, Ulster County Executive Ryan joined New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and 1199 SEIU for a Speak-Out at Kingston City Hall calling on HealthAlliance to return the county’s only inpatient mental health and chemical dependency services.