Hospital to offer open access primary care


After this morning's press conference, hospital CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk answers questions from Mike Randall of the Times Herald-Record.

After this morning’s press conference, hospital CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk answered questions from Mike Randall of the Times Herald-Record.

It’s called “open access primary care.” Patients can walk in the door or make an appointment with a doctor. The service will be available at the Cornwall Campus of the hospital in about a year.

Hospital CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk and Assemblyman James Skoufis broke the news at a press conference on the campus this morning. Mrs. Cusack-McGuirk said it would take a year to finalize the financial plans and implement the architectural design. Once that’s done, the primary care center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

In the meantime, Burke Rehabilitation will be extending its medical center in the hospital building. “We’re very proud to become part of this vision,” Jeff Menkes of Burke remarked when it was his turn at the microphone.

A year ago, the hospital announced it was closing the emergency room in Cornwall. Mrs. Cusack-McGuirk alluded to that in her opening remarks. “This is a nicer day than last time,” she said.

The Assemblyman lauded the change that came about after almost nine months of meetings. He said that the Assembly Speaker had supported the move. “We’re changing the trajectory of the C0rnwall campus,” Mr. Skoufis remarked. “Today is a turning point.”

Town Board members and candidates were at the conference. Supervisor Richard Randazzo was among the first to speak when it was time for questions. “We should be optimistic,” he said. “Thank you on behalf of the community. This is a giant leap forward.”


Ken Cashman