Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 11-17-22
One physician’s view
With regard to the Sharon Hospital transition plan, in the 23 years that I have practiced medicine from my small office in Millerton, our community has been impacted by the many changes wrought by the corporatization of healthcare. We have half the number of primary care doctors, and lost every endocrinologist, rheumatologist, dermatologist, hematologist/oncologist, nephrologist, and neurologist.
Local lab and radiology services have been largely outsourced. The deterioration of services was well underway prior to the 2017 deal with Healthquest/Nuvance as small community hospitals have struggled everywhere. Nuvance is merely planning the coup de grace by closing labor and delivery, overnight anesthesia and surgery coverage. These losses I believe will impact what Emergency Department doctors are willing to sign up for when surgery and anesthesia support are limited.
Nuvance offers the trade-off for cutting these services by promising to bolster primary care. However their track record is poor. Since 2017 they brought in one new MD and lost at least three. There has also been a net loss of nurse practitioners.
What is going to get us out of this tailspin? I believe Nuvance needs to acknowledge that with regard to Sharon it’s in for a penny in for a pound. Also local philanthropies need to get involved in a consistent significant way. There needs to be more aggressive work towards good access to telehealth.
I am planning on living in this idyllic place until I die. Hopefully with access to the great health care services that we have been privileged with in the not so distant past.
There was a large turn out at the Village of Millbrook Board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9. It was apparent that most of the people at the meeting were there in support of and concern for a Village resident who was mistreated by Trustee Herzog at last month’s board meeting.
Personally, I was appalled after viewing October’s board meeting online. To see an elected official, along with the Mayor, talk in such a rude, condescending manner toward a village resident was disheartening. This village resident, who, by the way, has been an elected official himself for many, many years in the Village of Millbrook and the Town of Washington, was there to address concerns about an agenda item, and quite frankly, to educate and share a great deal of information regarding this important topic for the village.
During the October meeting many of us watched this Village of Millbrook resident mocked and interrupted by both Mayor Collopy and Trustee Herzog. And to our dismay, he was also called a liar by Trustee Herzog, who was also yelling and shaking his finger at him. Elected officials on the Village Board are chosen to represent Village residents, and right now, I can strongly state that the two officials whom I saw act in this manner, absolutely DO NOT represent the Village residents.
While attending the Nov. 9 meeting, along with many other village members, we then observed the fact that, even after being asked to give a public apology to the Village resident towards whom he was disrespectful, Trustee Herzog refused. He continued to say that he stood by his feelings of this resident lying and would only state that he regretted raising his voice. Unacceptable. It is disgraceful.
What makes this even more concerning is that the Village resident was correct and his points were all proven to be right regarding the matter brought to the meeting in October. This was proven by a hired professional who took the time to review the resident’s documents that were so generously printed out and given to all board members in the October meeting.
As a fourth generation village resident, I am very concerned.
The village board members are not sitting in those chairs to harass the citizens of the village. They are there to govern our community and bring unity, as opposed to division. There should be a sense of unity at these meetings. There always should be a period at these meetings where the public can express their opinions and ask questions in an orderly fashion.
Maybe the citizens of the village should think long and hard about whom they elect for the future.