The NY State Assembly Health Committee will be holding public hearings on the Berger Commission report on hospital and nursing home closings this coming Monday at 11 AMat White Plains Library, 100 Martine Ave, White Plains. The committee is providing people with an opportunity to testify in person or via e mail. If you cannot testify in person you should e mail the Assembly at the following address:
HealthHearing@assembly.state.ny.us. This is the first time that the State Assembly is providing people with the opportunity to testify electronically. The ‘e hearing’ will enable the committee to hear from many more people than will be able to testify in person.
Oral testimony is limited to ten minutes in length.
My name is Paul Feiner. I am the GreenburghTownSupervisor. I appreciate the opportunity you are providing residents to testify in person or electronically about the Berger Commission’s Report on hospital and nursing home closings. The CommunityHospitalat Dobbs Ferry is vital and important to our community. I urge the State Assembly Health Care Committee to do whatever you can to save this very important hospital.
The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved a resolution at the December 4th Town Board meeting urging the state to save the CommunityHospitalat Dobbs Ferry. This hospital should not be closed. The hospital is profitable –in 2006 the hospital projects a profit of $625,000. From an operating margin perspective CHDF is the most profitable entity in the entire HudsonValleyregion. The hospital is the lowest cost facility in its region. The average length of stay for patients in NY is 6.1 days versus a national ALOS of 4.8. The average length of stay at Dobbs Ferry is 4.4 days. The hospital is also the fastest growing facility in the region –discharges have grown by 20% over four years. Referred ambulatory procedures have grown by 24.4% Ambulatory surgery volume has grown by 8% over 4 years. Emergency room volume has grown by 17% over 4 years.
The drive time from the river villages to Phelps, White Plains, the WestchesterMedicalCenter & St. John’sRiversideHospitalis between 15-30 minutes. However, during busy times of the day the drive time more than doubles. A patient in cardiac arrest must reach the hospital within 8 minutes. The closest Emergency Rooms in other hospitals have waits of more than 3 hours or more. If the state closes the Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry the 900 visits a month will have to be redistributed to nearby emergency rooms in other hospitals which are already overcrowded with extremely long waits causing further waiting times.
It makes no sense to close down a hospital that is making money and serves an important community need. I thank the Assembly Health Committee for providing concerned citizens with the opportunity to express their views on this important issue. Please do what you can to save this important community asset –a hospital known for its personalized attention, great service, excellent health care. When patients visit DobbsFerryHospitalthey do not feel that they are numbers – they feel that neighbors who truly care about their health are doing whatever it takes to help them get better. This hospital is unique and very special.
The possible closing of this hospital has created a health care crisis in our Greenburgh community. I urge members of the Assembly to visit the CommunityHospitalat Dobbs Ferry before you make your recommendations. It’s difficult to appreciate the unique qualities of the hospital if you do not visit the hospital in person.