Sen. Stewart-Cousins Tours Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry
YONKERS, NY -- January 21, 2007 -- Maintaining to preserve the endangered Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins organized a bus tour of the facility and the St. John’s Riverside Health system in both Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry with Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith on Saturday, January 20, 2007. Senator Stewart-Cousins has held a series of meetings with Governor Spitzer’s Office and local leaders in efforts to prevent the closing of Community Hospital.
“This is a time we should be expanding our health facilities, not closing them. It is our moral and ethical duty to do our best to save this facility. The closing of Community Hospital will have a traumatic domino effect on the health care system in Westchester County and beyond,” stated Senator Stewart-Cousins.
Stewart-Cousins and Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith were joined by Jim Foy President and CEO of St. John’s Riverside Health Care System; Ronald J. Corti, Chief Executive Officer of Dobbs Ferry Community Hospital; Westchester County Legislator Thomas Abinanti; Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick; Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner; as well as Greenburgh Town Council members Steve Bass and Eddie Mae Barnes; Dobbs Ferry Mayor Joseph Bova and Deputy Mayor Lyle Miller; Hastings Mayor Lee Kinnally and Ardsley Mayor Jay Leon to view the facilities. The purpose of the tour was to highlight the dramatic loss of quality health care to residents in Yonkers, the River towns, Mount Vernon and the Bronx should the Community Hospital close in June 2008.
lives are a stake, it is never too late to continue to evaluate the
impact a hospital closing or downsizing will have on a community. As
we all know hospitals provide a crucial service, especially in our community.
I applaud Senator Stewart-Cousins for taking the leadership on this
issue and pledge to the governor and my colleagues in state leadership
to revisit hospital closings to ensure that any changes to the system
are fair and all New Yorkers have access to health care,” said Senator
“Before closing any hospital doors, we must ensure that adequate ambulatory care, mental health and substance abuse services are available. The disabled, elderly and uninsured are protected. We also need to ensure that existing health care staffing are addressed. Smith added: "Despite last year’s recommendations by the Hospital Closings Commission, until we are satisfied that our concerns have been addressed, the proposed hospital closing shouldn’t be a done deal.”
“We are fortunate to have such a great and compassionate partner in Senator Malcolm Smith. And together, we will ensure that voices of the people are heard in Albany. We are all doing whatever we can to reverse this egregious decision,” said Stewart-Cousins.
Hospital officials have maintained that profits from Community help to absorb the cost of operating other health programs, such as the Valentine Lane facility in Yonkers. They said closing the hospital would jeopardize health care to hundreds of families in need.
“The Berger Commission got it wrong,” stated Jim Foy President and CEO of St. John’s, which runs both hospitals. “As an integrated health system we will be moved into a financial crisis that will force us to close many health programs that improve community health and access but that are unprofitable,” he said.
Stewart-Cousins said she would continue to work with local and state leaders as well as the community in an attempt to preserve facilities that provide quality health care to the residents of Westchester County.