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Copake Rapid Care to resume service

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By DIANE VALDEN

COPAKE—A ribbon-cutting ceremony will herald the grand reopening of Columbia Memorial Health’s Copake Rapid Care Center at 283 Mountain View Road, which has been shuttered for a year and a half, Monday, June 3 at 1 p.m.

The public is welcome, the Columbia Memorial Health (CMH) team, regional community leaders and representatives will be on hand.

Closed since December 2022, the facility had reduced and sporadic hours during the pandemic. CMH said at the time, the closure was due to lack of staffing, but it later came to light there were also financial issues.

With the closure of the Copake Rapid Care Center, residents in the eastern part of Columbia County found themselves with no nearby medical facility and were forced to travel to Hudson, Great Barrington, MA, or Sharon, CT, all at least 30 minutes away, for urgent medical care.

A coalition of the five Roe Jan area towns (Ancram, Copake, Hillsdale, Taghkanic and Gallatin) and other interested parties, including the Community Rescue Squad and Copake Fire Company, met with CMH officials urging that “a quick solution was less important than a lasting solution.”

Subsequently, the Columbia Memorial Health Foundation established a “donor designated fund” to which contributions could be made to directly benefit the Copake Rapid Care Center.

CMH also set about an advertising campaign to recruit a physician’s assistant (PA) or other healthcare provider to anchor the facility. The previous healthcare provider there reportedly died.

CMH issued a March 21 press release saying it had met the fundraising goal necessary for reopening the Copake Rapid Care Center.

CMH called meeting the fundraising goal a “mile post” and “a critical step in re-establishing Rapid Care services at the facility later this year.”

When asked what the needed fundraising goal was, a CMH spokesman said, “We are not releasing any dollar amounts at this time.”

Copake Rapid Care initially opened its doors in 2016 in one end of the Community Rescue Squad building. The community contributed $25,000 toward the installation cost of a new 100-foot-tall tower equipped with a microwave relay system to provide the needed xray transmission specifications; the Community Rescue Squad supported the project and gave CMH two years free rent. CMH came up with half of the needed $700,000 project cost and, then State Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43rd) stepped in to assist by securing $350,000 as part of the 2015-16 State Budget to help with the initial cost of site renovation and equipment purchases.

An ad placed by CMH, part of the Albany Med Health System, announcing the Copake Rapid Care Center reopening in this issue of The Columbia Paper, says the center will provide “walk-in care for urgent and non-urgent illnesses and injuries.” The ad locates the center on a map and says the center will be open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The phone number is 518-329-3902.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com.

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