NYS Assembly to hold public hearing on Southern Tier closures

By WBNG News

NYS Assembly to hold public hearing on Southern Tier closures

September 6, 2013 Updated Sep 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) New York Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D- Endwell) on Friday announced that in response to her request for a hearing on the closure of inpatient services in the Southern Tier (at the Greater Binghamton Health Center and Elmira Psychiatric Center in 2014), and the complete closure of Broome Developmental Center in 2016, a local hearing will be held Friday, September 13th.

According to the news release:

The hearing, conducted by the NYS Assembly Mental Health Committee, will begin at 11:00 AM in Binghamton City Council Chambers.

The hearing will run all day and be divided into a section on GBHC and one on BDC. Oral
testimony will be by invitation only, while written testimony will also be accepted. The hearing will be open to the public.

Forums are also being planned for additional public input in the next month or two. "Our goal for this hearing is to make sure that representatives from all of the important stakeholder groups are heard from," said Lupardo.

Panels at the hearing will include Southern Tier elected officials, mental health commissioners, Sheriffs, hospital representative, labor leaders, community service agencies, and various
advocacy groups.

"Two separate task forces on GBHC and BDC have been meeting regularly to discuss the
potential impacts of the closures on the Southern Tier," said Lupardo. Alternative plans are being developed for submission to the state.

"For example, in the case of the GBHC closure, a collaborative Southern Tier plan is emerging, in response to the complete elimination of all state run inpatient psychiatric services in the region. Regarding BDC, we want to ensure that a full array of community supports are in place and that enough statewide beds are available for those who cannot be safely integrated into communities across the state," added Assemblywoman Lupardo.

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