Health center may not reopen

Health center may not reopen

By PJ Ferguson

The Whitehall Health Center, which temporarily closed its doors in April, may not reopen at all.

When asked of the rumors of the branch owned by Glens Falls Hospital closing permanently, vice president of hospital and community engagement Ray Agnew did not confirm or deny their validity.

Glens Falls Hospital vice president of hospital and community engagement Ray Agnew.

“We are evaluating all of our options regarding the care our patients need, and the Whitehall Health Center,” Agnew responded via email. “No final decision has yet been made about reopening the center. We will notify patients directly when plans are finalized.”

The center announced its temporary closure back in April following Glens Falls Hospital furloughing 337 employees. The Wilton branch was also closed as a result.

Following that announcement, Agnew said that the hospital intended on bringing everyone back.

In May, Whitehall resident Kari Hurlburt started a petition on the website, change.org, demanding the hospital reopen the health center.

“Closing any health center during a national health pandemic is not only irresponsible, it is stupid!” wrote Hurlburt, “Patients are not getting the proper health care they need and deserve.”

Many took to the web page to air their grievances regarding the closure, criticizing Glens Falls Hospital for not being able to see their usual doctor and for being forced to travel elsewhere for care.

“It’s ridiculous to have to drive to Queensbury or hope Granville takes you if you need care,” wrote Angela Benson.

“I live in Dresden and work in Whitehall,” wrote Heather Gordon. “I’ve taken my daughter and myself to the Whitehall Health Center. It is so sad that we do not have that option any longer. Whitehall also has many children that benefit from the Whitehall Health Center that do not have transportation to take them out of town.”