Elmira Psychiatric Center Petition

Written By: Kellie Meyer
Elmira Psychiatric Center Petition

July 17, 2013

ELMIRA -- (WENY) Just one week after the Cuomo administration announced they would be closing 24 inpatient hospitals across the state. Senator Tom O'Mara launched his plan to help keep Elmira's Psychiatric Center right where it is. 
     The State Office of Mental Health announced last week that they would be consolidating New York's 24 inpatient hospitals in 15 regional hubs. Under the plan, Elmira PC, Buffalo PC and Western New York Children's PC will be merged into one regional center known as the Great Lakes RCE that will be located in Buffalo. The plans calls for no inpatient services to remain at Elmira.
     "It's going to be extremely difficult if not impossible for our constituents to deal with," said Senator Tom O'Mara, who is just one local official concerned over the closure of the Elmira Psychiatric Center.
     Mayor of Elmira, Sue Skidmore said, "if we didn't need the service we wouldn't have it here in the first place". "If we have inpatient for children in Utica and inpatient for adults in Rochester how are the families going to come visit."
     Senator O'Mara launched an online petition called 'Join the Fight' to keep the Elmira center open.
     He went on to explain, "we're going to work very hard to explain the important of what will result in a lack in mental health care for those inpatients that need to go to Buffalo or Utica."
     Bonnie Wood, Region 2 Coordinator for the Public Employee Federation, said "I don't know how they decided what their criteria was for regional center of excellance because the Elmira Psychiatric Center has been excellent in their
service to the community."
    Bonnie has worked at the Elmira Psychiatric Center for 32 years and she's just one of the workers that will be affected by the closure.
     "They're vulnerable, our patients, and they don't speak up for themselves and we really need to take a stand to make sure there are services available that they need", added Bonnie.  
     To sign up for the petition go to