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Monday, October 26, 2020

Letters

Open letter to Sull Co. Legislature

Sep 21, 2020

To the editor:
It has come to our attention through the county's August 13, 2020 press release “Legislature Approves Care Center Transfer” that the Sullivan County legislature has plans for the Sullivan County Public Health Services certified home health agency (home visiting service by the public health nurses, therapists and aides) to be managed by an outside entity and leased out, with the possible intention to sell the agency.
In a sentence almost buried in the text of the press release about the Local Development Corporation, we were very dismayed to read: “In order to ensure local residents in need will have priority access to the Care Center, the Sullivan County Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) will also be transferred to the third-party operator.”
We represent the Sullivan County Health Services Advisory Board (HSAB), a board mandated by New York State Public Health Law, section 357 to provide professional advice and consultation to the county health director, which in this case, is Nancy McGraw, Public Health Director at Sullivan County Public Health Services. We are disturbed about this decision by the Legislature on multiple levels:
• The decision was made without prior consultation with our public health services which currently operates the public certified home health agency. The Director could have given you information on the numerous, costly and substantial implications of this somewhat spontaneous decision.
• The decision was also made without public knowledge or comment (which may violate sunshine rules).
• And, last but certainly not least, under New York Public Health Law article 36, the agency cannot be leased.
Our board looks forward to having a dialogue with our legislators in the very near future to appropriately reverse this decision.

Bruce Ellsweig, M.D., Chair
Members of the Sullivan County Health Services Advisory Board: Sam Avrett, MPH; Jennifer Candela, LCSW; Larysa Dyrszka, MD; Dr. M. Cecilia Escarra; Joan Patterson, RN, MSN, CBN; Patrina Phillip-King, MD; Christopher Roman, MD; Carol Ryan, RN, MPH







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