Doctor supports relocation for Winsted Health Center
WINSTED â€” If a new health-care facility is built in Barkhamsted near the Cinerom Plaza, it may mean the end of emergency care at the Winsted Health Center, but it will be the beginning of an era of better care in a brand new, more efficient facility.
Thatâ€™s the opinion of Winsted Health Center Medical Director Dr. Greg Grinspan, who has been involved with the development of a new medical building. In an interview Tuesday, Grinspan said he is in favor of leaving the health centerâ€™s Spencer Street location and moving to a new and improved home.
Responding to comments made by those opposing the transition, Grinspan said he has met with community members and discussed his support of the project, which would move Hungerford Emergency Services, a division of Torringtonâ€™s Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, into the new Barkhamsted building.
â€œMy number-one interest is in ensuring the people of Winsted and surrounding towns have the best possible medical care we can buy,â€ Grinspan said. â€œIf it needs to be on one side of town or the other, it doesnâ€™t matter to me. We just want to have the best facility.â€
In the Dec. 25 issue of this newspaper, Community Lawyer Charlene LaVoie said she expected widespread opposition to moving emergency and other medical services out of the Winsted Health Center. â€œThe Winsted Health Center is a big brick in the wall that makes up this community,â€ LaVoie said. â€œThatâ€™s the whole point of the center from the beginning, to have locally controlled health care.â€
LaVoie, who has represented the Winsted Health Center Foundation in the past, said the organization should work to keep the health center on Spencer Street and maintain that local control.
But how much local control is there?
â€œThere has never been locally controlled health care,â€ Grinspan said. â€œIâ€™m the medical director here, and I donâ€™t get direction from anybody except myself and Eric Salk [medical director at Charlotte Hungerford]. The Winsted Health Center Foundation is a landlord and nothing more.â€
Grinspan said moving emergency services out of the Spencer Street building is a financial necessity that will improve medical care for the community. â€œI have been involved in the design of the new medical center, which has taken many twists and turns,â€ he said. â€œCharleneâ€™s and othersâ€™ desire to have it in the old hospital would be too costly. Itâ€™s time for a new facility.â€
Ultimately, Grinspan said, the relocation of emergency and medical services in Winsted will be a plus for the community. â€œThe medical center will continue to serve the same population, except it will be either four minutes closer or four minutes farther away,â€ he said. â€œIt will bring easier access for the citizens of Winsted and surrounding towns. We all look forward to the possibility of a new facility that will be easily accessible but will be technically far superior for the patients being served.â€