Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R,C,I-New Hartford) has called upon Governor Cuomo to reverse his and the Office of Mental Health’s decision to reduce inpatient services at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center (MVPC) in Utica.
“Under the proposed plan, two wards at MVPC will be closed and a third ward will be moved to Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse. However, this does not make sense. In order for Hutchings Center to adequately meet the needs of the MVPC patients, renovations in excess of $12 million will be required,” said Tenney.
Tenney explained that the Hutchings Center is not code compliant for services currently offered to the patients of MVPC. Particular renovation projects and their costs at Hutchings Center include:
- Replacement of the personal duress alarm system - $826,000;
- Life safety code compliance in the Hutchings Building 5 - $1.8 million;
- Construction of a temporary outpatient unit - $225,000 (MVPC has a new, state-of-the-art outpatient unit);
- Fix Hutchings’ sinkhole problem - $801,000 to $1 million; and
- Balance and correct problems in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) - $2.9 million to $4.3 million (MVPC balanced their HVAC system only a few years ago).
“Reducing MVPC’s capabilities is inappropriate when the reduction plan would be an overwhelming burden to both patients and taxpayers. The governor and commissioner of the Office of Mental Health need to review and reverse the decision they have made,” said Tenney.