News Article Details

New mental health clinic for 1,000 patients proposed for Glens Falls

Post-Star - 9/6/2019

Sep. 6--Northern Rivers wants to open an outpatient mental health clinic for 1,000 patients in response to the announcement that Glens Falls Hospital is closing its mental health outpatient services.

But Warren and Washington counties Director of Community Services Rob York is still in talks with other mental health providers, and said Northern Rivers won't be taking over the hospital's patients.

"That would be separate from the process we're going through to take over the hospital's operations," he said. "What Northern Rivers is proposing is added capacity."

Many patients in the area are not able to get mental health treatment because there aren't enough providers, he added.

"This would be a significant way to address the unmet need," he said.

Northern Rivers CEO William Gettman said he's hurrying to open a large clinic because the hospital is closing its outpatient clinics.

"Let's deal with the current crisis and the unmet need," he said.

The company had been talking with the hospital about how Northern Rivers could assist prior to the hospital's announcement two weeks ago, he said.

The plans were accelerated and made larger in response to the closure announcement. Glens Falls Hospital plans to keep its outpatient clinics open until an agency is ready to take over.

Gettman is negotiating a lease for a 6,000-square-foot building in Glens Falls. It's on a bus line, which will help with access for patients, he said.

The clinic would also stay open until 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and have weekend hours by appointment.

"That will help economically. It also helps clients -- if you're working or can't get there due to transportation or child care," he said.

It would be the company's fifth mental health clinic. The others are in Albany, Schenectady and Malta.

"Clinics are hard to run. They're economically sensitive," Gettman said. "However, we have a good team."


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