Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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July 30th, 2010

CRMC continues on its road to a clean bill of health

As our County continues to struggle, I am pleased to report that Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is repeatedly emerging as one of our major success stories. Gone are the days of bad health care and poor management.

Under the leadership of CEO Steve Ruwoldt and with the hospital’s affiliation with Crystal Run, Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC), and the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, CRMC has proven that things can get better.

The list of medical professionals now affiliated with the CRMC is extremely impressive, as are the areas of the hospital’s growth. The Emergency Department’s expansion program was unimaginable several short years ago.

Ruwoldt told me the Emergency Department project will double the ER in size. “This will enable us to decrease patient wait times, serve more patients and enhance the level of service provided to meet the community’s needs.”

The landmark $6 million project was remarkably made possible without costing the hospital any money.

State Senator John Bonacic secured almost $2.5 million in state funding for the construction and equipment; Alan Gerry and The Gerry Foundation contributed almost $2.5 million; Congressman Maurice Hinchey secured $300,000 and the Rural Health Access Grant enabled $200,000 for equipment. Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther was also instrumental in the project.

Bonacic told me it was important for him to make certain the venture got funded. “Just because we don’t live in New York City doesn’t mean we should have second class healthcare. We have excellent healthcare professionals, and we want to keep them here, and attract more of them. Keeping our hospitals open and strong is important to me.”

Discussing CRMC’s past conditions, Bonacic said, “It was in serious trouble and has now undergone positive transformation. First, we successfully linked the hospital to Orange Regional. That was an effort I initiated along with Alan Gerry. Second, we were able to partner with the Gerry Foundation to build a new Emergency Room. A new ER will help people in Sullivan County for years, and helping people is what government should be trying to do.”

Bonacic added, “The capital investment is important not only because it keeps standards high, but it tells the public positive changes are happening, and will continue to happen, to keep state of-the-art medicine in our region.”

In addition to the ER expansion, CRMC will soon unveil a number of major projects that will advance patient primary care and outpatient services throughout Sullivan County.

A new diagnostic center will open at the Callicoon location. There will also be an expansion of outpatient diagnostic imaging, ultrasound and radiology services at the Monticello Women’s Health Center. A new practice will also open in Livingston Manor to better serve our community.

It is comforting to know that Sullivan County can boast a new quality health care system. May none of us ever need any of their services, but it is good to know they are there.

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