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ECH prepares to move into Wilmington

ELIZABETHTOWN Due to staffing problems, Adirondack Medical Center is moving out of Wilmington earlier than anticipated. Plans were made late last year for Elizabethtown Community Hospital to take over the space currently operated by AMC as a health clinic. The space at the Wilmington Community Center is provided by the town. While AMC had originally planned to remain at the Wilmington Health Center until June 30 or such time that ECH was ready to move in, AMC has decided to move out by May 15. In a letter to patients, AMC explained the primary provider for the community, Dr. Christopher Hyson, is on a medical leave. This recent turn of events has prompted the decision to close the clinic sooner than anticipated. The letter said Dr. Hyson will continue to serve his patients at the Mountain Health Center in Keene. Patients wishing to remain with AMC can have their records transferred to the Mountain Health Center in Keene, the Lake Placid Health Center, or Tupper Lake Health Center. While it has been our distinct pleasure to serve the community of Wilmington for the past eight years, we hope to continue to serve their needs into the future at any of our other locations, said AMC spokesman Joe Riccio. ECH moving in At this time, no definite date for Elizabethtown Community Hospitals opening the High Peaks Health Clinic is planned. The hospital needs to have its Certificate of Need approved by the state before operations can begin. ECH administrators are considering a schedule for Wilmington as Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Wednesdays from 8 a.m.-noon. Saturday morning hours will be offered on a trial basis to see if theres need in the community for that day. Robin Dunning, Health Centers Manager, said people wishing to transfer their care to HPHC prior to opening may transfer records to the Elizabethtown Community Health Center in the meantime. Dunning said it was important for patients transferring care to High Peaks Health Center to obtain their primary care exclusively at HPHC. Dunning stated a vital piece of providing excellent health care is having patient records all in one place, and managing their primary care needs based on current and complete information. If you become a patient at any of our health centers we will manage all of your primary health care needs from routine physicals, disease management and urgent care to any specialty referrals you may require. We are looking forward to serving the community and bringing ECH's commitment to excellence to the Town of Wilmington and its neighbors, said Dunning. Supervisor frustrated with AMC Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said from his perspective, AMC had practically already moved out of the clinic, since only one day of operations was announced for April. Theres been a lot of frustration - it appears its swiftly going to be closed, said Preston. Unfortunately, were going to have some downtime. Im sorry for the inconvenience for the local people. He said many of the towns problems with AMC had been created by poor communications. While Preston wasnt pleased with how the prior town board handled the changeover, he did believe that ECH would benefit the community. As far as ECH, there's very open communications, and I'm looking to have a smooth, good working relationship with them. I'm very excited they'll be able to provide the services, said Preston.

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