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CMH closes clinic and leaves southeastern Columbia County without medical services

Jul 17, 2023 12:56 am

Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that southeastern Columbia County is now a medical desert, with only one doctor in a five-town area compromising about 120 square miles and the nearest rapid-care clinic in in Greenport, a half-hour drive away. And those five towns that lack medical services — Copake, Hillsdale, Gallatin, Ancram, and Taghkanic — have elderly populations with medical needs greater than the general population. Last year Columbia Memorial Health closed a rapid-care clinic in the area. The Hudson-based hospital also ended all birthing services in 2019. Columbia Memorial Health raised $25,000 in donations from local residents, and got $350,000 in taxpayers money from the state to open the clinic that closed last year. Copake Town Supervisor Jeanne Mettler said the clinic's open hours became sporadic the past few years. CMH spokesperson Bill Van Slyke said the clinic was closed because the hospital was “unable to secure a provider necessary to consistently operate rapid care services at Copake." Van Slyke claims the closure is only temporary and that the clinic was “an important part of CMH and the Albany Med Health System, and we remain committed to its operation.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.