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Copake Rapid Care gets a warm welcome back

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By DIANE VALDEN

COPAKE—A crowd of about 50 people gathered on the pavement in the Copake Rapid Care parking lot, 283 Mountain View Road, with the temperature in the 80s under an intense springtime sun to witness the long-awaited grand reopening of the facility, Monday, June 3.

The center had been closed since December 2022 due to staffing and financial issues.

Little plastic bottles of water and snacks were made available to the sweltering onlookers as Columbia Memorial Health (CMH) President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Dorothy M. Urschel delivered opening remarks from a lectern and introduced speakers: Matt Herzog from Assemblymember Didi Barrett’s (D-106th) office, Emma Cohen from State Senator Michelle Hinchey’s (D-41st) office, Albany Med Healthcare System’s CEO and President Dr. Dennis McKenna, Alex Horton from Congressman Marc Molinaro’s (R-19th) office, CMH Board of Trustees Chair Kirk Kneller and Copake Town Supervisor Richard Wolf.

Citations, certificates and proclamations were presented by the representatives of state and federal politicians. Everyone offered words of congratulations and gratitude to all who helped make the reopening happen. It was noted that the center provides critical services which Roe Jan area residents would otherwise have to drive a half-hour or more to obtain. Mr. Herzog said the reopening “was a testament to the power of community.”

Some credit for the reopening was bestowed upon CMH Board of Trustees Member Hila Richardson and Board Chair Kneller. During his remarks, Mr. Kneller also deflected a piece of the credit to the community, since $300,00+ in individual donations to the CMH Foundation’s “donor designated fund” directly benefited the Copake Rapid Care Center’s revival. He said “it takes a community” to support a rapid care center. Also, Mr. Kneller predicted that within a year the center will be profitable.

AMC and CMH administrators, staff, board of trustees members, politicians’ emissaries, local town supervisors past and present and others lined up for the Copake Rapid Care ribbon cutting and photo opportunity, June 3. Photo by Diane Valden

Copake Supervisor Wolf said because his predecessor, former supervisor Jeanne Mettler, championed the rapid care center cause, residents once again have “a local place where they can go to get quality care.”

A ceremonial red ribbon was cut to usher those present inside the facility for a tour and refreshments.

The center is now open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Physician’s Assistant Thomas McGibbon-Vaugh will anchor the healthcare staff. Mr. McGibbon-Vaugh worked at the facility previously.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

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