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Hudson Valley

Forum held on Kingston hospitals

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Albany/HV: Forum held on Kingston hospitals
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A community forum was held in Saugerties to discuss the future of two hospitals. Our Christian Farrell has the story.

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. -- "It's very worrisome, because obviously one hospital can't do what two hospitals can do," said Annabelle Staber, Kingston resident.

Annabelle Staber made the trip to Saugerties to learn the latest regarding her city's two local hospitals: Kingston and Benedictine. A community forum Thursday attempted to answer questions and ease healthcare concerns of local residents. Just last month, it was announced one of the hospitals will be closing.

"I think it's important that we do listen to the community. We know it's a very serious issue. Healthcare to this community is very important. And we understand that," said David Lundquist, HealthAlliance President.

HealthAlliance President David Lundquist says a decision on which hospital remains open and which one closes hasn't been determined yet. But he says a "single campus model" will soon become a reality.

Hospital officials cite $10 million in operating losses the organization has incurred in the last two years, running both facilities as the reason.

"Our commitment is we get better and stronger, albeit a little smaller. We know we can become far more efficient with one facility," said Lundquist.

Officials say a final decision on the fate of these two hospitals will come sometime this fall. Layoffs will occur. Unfortunately, they say that's a concern they can't do much about.

"If the hospital closes that's a lot of job losses. So, it'll be devastating for people in this town," said Minerva Solla, Kingston resident.

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