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Public Hearing on Elmira Psych Center

Written By: Kellie Meyer
Public Hearing on Elmira Psych Center

September 13, 2013

ELMIRA -- (WENY) A public hearing was held in Binghamton today regarding the closing of the Elmira Psychiatric Center along with two other centers, Greater Binghamton Health and Broom Developmental. Members of the New York State Assembly listened to testimony from local officials regarding the planned closures.
     In July, the state Office of Mental Health announced it would be consolidating New York's 24 State Psychiatric Hospitals into 15 regional centers over three years. It's said to save about $20 million statewide in the first year. The plan would end inpatient services at the Elmira Psychiatric Center as early as next summer.
     Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli was there to give his testimony.
He says Elmira and Binghamton are the top two rated mental health facilities in the state. And that there's $1.5 million people within the fifteen counties that these two centers serve. Having the nearest center be in Buffalo, Rochester or Syracuse isn't a good idea.
     "We pride ourselves on we try to get people back into the homes and into the community. Out of the inpatient and into the outpatient program.
How do you do it when they're not even in the community especially for the inpatient services because the families aren't here. It doesn't make any sense," said Santulli.
     The Senate Mental Health committee will hold another meeting in Elmira in a few weeks.