To the editor:
I have been reading with great interest the controversy surrounding the Emergency Room in Lake Placid. In spite of the raw emotions and harsh statements made by some I believe that this situation is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the problems that the health care system and in particular small community hospitals like Adirondack Health face. I agree with the explanations that Dr. Claude Roland and Mr. Stanley Urban made about the status of Adirondack Health and the tough decisions that have to be made. Until December 31, 2012 when my eight year term was completed, I was a member of the Board of Trustees of Adirondack Health. While not all our endeavors were successful, every decision we made was based on the best available facts and projections and made in the interest of the community. None of us profited personally from those decisions. I have lived and worked in communities where emergency rooms were as close as the Adirondack Medical Center is to Lake Placid and saw that with cooperation from the community and an effective organization of EMS these communities were well served and did not suffer. I believe that with the help of everyone in the community we have the good will and the ability and the knowledge to ensure that emergency services can be available and provided for Lake Placid and the surrounding communities. Adirondack Health is working to be a coordinator and provider of a continuum of health care services for our communities and I hope all of us can support these efforts. A lot of work still has to be done in order to ensure that we have the best health care not only for emergency services but also for everyone from birth through death. I urge all of us to work together to make this a reality.
The Rev. Carlos J. Caguiat, Fellow, American College of Health Care Executives (retired)