Statement on Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center Downsizing

April 11, 2012

“Yesterday, workers at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center learned that plans by the State Office of Mental Health to close adult inpatient wards at the center and eliminate about 140 positions there are moving forward. Even if some employees at the center can transfer to Hutchings, moving these experienced workers is a great loss for our community and the region’s mental health treatment system.

“I have consistently fought implementation of this plan since it was proposed. I have met with the governor’s office and the Commissioner of the State Office of Mental Health to request a justification for the decision to move some of the center’s inpatients to Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse, as it would cost the state millions of dollars to accommodate these patients.

“I remain unconvinced that this move is in the best interests of psychiatric center employees, its patients and their families and the state’s taxpayers. It is my belief that the state must do everything possible to assist dislocated workers from the center, work with local officials to develop a reuse plan and market unused buildings at the psychiatric center campus, which have been eyesores to West Utica residents for many years.”