Debate is heating up around Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's plan to eliminate Sagamore Children's Psychiatric Center's 54 inpatient beds, and those at similar facilities elsewhere, and move that treatment to 15 "Regional Centers for Excellence." A public hearing on the plan, one of several statewide in the coming weeks by state legislators, will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Farmingdale State College. Closing the Dix Hills facility's inpatient program seems perilous, and has local legislators, mental health providers and residents up in arms. Cuomo's plan would treat more patients at home. Those Long Island youths needing inpatient psychiatric treatment would be cared for in the Bronx or Queens, far from family and friends. If it is a path to "excellence," and not just a way to save money, far more explanation is needed.
The Sagamore Children's Psychiatric Center, where inpatient treatment may be discontinued. State officials say the move could save them $20 million, and shift focus to community-based programs. Photo Credit: News 12 Long Island