To the Editor:
I was employed at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center for over 37 years. During that period of time, I progressed from staff nurse to treatment team leader in children and youth services.
I have professed that the treatment and care administered during that period was outstanding, mainly due to the outstanding capabilities of the staff to treat the patients as extended family and friends, not just as individuals. You can accomplish this only when you have a localized geographical area where this feeling between patient and care giver can be perpetuated. You cannot accomplish this therapeutic milieu when you transport patients out of their residential geographical area.
Couple this with competent, excellent and caring staff and such a treatment setting can be accomplished. St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center did this to the nth degree.
The decision of the state to not designate the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center a Center of Excellence demonstrates the lack of knowledge of this facility by them. They have only to review the various reports by the JCAH (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals) to confirm that the center has always met and exceeded the commissions’ standards. These reports prove unequivocally that the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center has been, and is, a Center of Excellence.
I would strongly urge the committee responsible for establishing the list of Centers of Excellence to again review their process and make the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center a Center of Excellence.
David W. Bush