Letter to OMH Commissioner

March 16, 2012
Commissioner Michael Hogan
New York State Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Ave.
Albany, NY 12229

Dear Commissioner Hogan:

We want to thank you very much for meeting with us in Utica today to discuss the plans to reduce inpatient treatment and services at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center (MVPC) in Utica.

As we outlined in our discussion with you today, we would like to see the data and analysis that you utilized as the justification for the decision to end adult inpatient care at the MVPC by Monday.

In addition, in the 2011-2012 State Fiscal Year budget agreement, the legislature outlined a set of criteria the State Commissioner of Mental Health was to use when determining where service reductions within the agency are being made. As we stated in our meeting today, we would like to request that you answer the following criteria that were part of the last year’s OMH budget agreement in looking at the possible consolidation of inpatient services from the MVPC in Utica, to Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse:

  • the size, scope, and type of services provided by the hospitals
  • The current and anticipated long-term need for these services within the catchment area, including, but not limited to services for adults or children, or other specialized services, such as forensic services.
  • The availability of staff sufficient to address the current and anticipated long-term needs
  • The long-term capital investment required to ensure that the facility meets relevant state and federal regulatory and capital construction requirements, and national accreditation standards
  • The proximity of the facility to other facilities with space that could accommodate anticipated need
  • Anticipated savings based on economies of scale or other factors
  • Community mental health services available in the facility catchment area and the ability of such community mental health services to meet the behavioral health needs of the impacted consumers
  • The anticipated impact of the closure on access to mental health services

We would very much appreciate receiving answers to these questions by the end of business on Monday. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of our offices.

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to address our questions on these issues.

Sincerely,

Joseph A. Griffo
Member, New York State Senate

Anthony Brindisi
Member of Assembly