One of Kingston’s two hospitals definitely will close, the head of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley said Thursday night, and leaders of the company that oversees the two facilities said the remaining hospital probably won’t be Catholic.Certainly didn't take them very long to weigh the public's concerns, did it? Almost like they already knew they were going to close Benedictine months ago, but they needed to make it look good.
“We will be going to a single campus,” HealthAlliance Chief Executive Officer David Lundquist told the Freeman after a public forum in Saugerties about the company’s future.
HealthAlliance first announced in early May that one of its two health care facilities in the city — the non-sectarian Kingston Hospital or the Catholic Benedictine Hospital — could close because of steep financial losses, but it did not say which campus might be in jeopardy or if a closure was certain.
You know, I've found that if you automatically think of the most cynical possible outcome for events, particularly in politics and business, you will more often than not hit the nail right on the head.
But, let's make lemonade out of the gigantic bowl of lemons HealthAlliance has served to the local economy:
Ulster County Community College may offer more blended online and in-person instruction and would seek new partnerships with Kingston High School and Benedictine Hospital if Sophie Finn Elementary School becomes a UCCC satellite campus, college President Donald Katt said this week.This makes so much sense I'm surprised Katt and Hein are suggesting it. Downtown Kingston would be an ideal location for a UCCC satellite campus, primarily because of transportation. While the Business Resource Center isn't a bad location, having a campus that is more central to the Kingston community makes a lot of sense. Hell, with enough demand, converting the Benedictine building itself to a full-blown college campus might be in the cards somewhere down the road.
Kingston school district Superintendent Paul Padalino has recommended the district close Zena, Sophie Finn and Anna Devine elementary schools and move fifth grade from the elementary schools to the middle schools to cope with rising costs, declining enrollment and the state’s new tax cap.
The changes — which would take effect in September 2013 if approved by the Board of Education — would save about $25 million over five years, help the district stabilize its finances and allow money that went to overhead for keeping schools running to be reinvested in academic programs, Padalino has said.
Ulster County Executive Michael Hein has proposed moving the UCCC classes that currently are housed at the Business Resource Center in the town of Ulster to the Sophie Finn building, which is on Mary’s Avenue in Kingston. Under the same plan, county operations at 300 Flatbush Ave. and 25 South Manor Ave. in Kingston would move into the Business Resource Center with the goal of selling the vacated office buildings to get them back on the tax rolls.
So, as usual, a group of guys in suits got together behind closed doors and made a decision effecting the lives of thousands of people. They protected themselves, and their huge salaries, while screwing at significant number of their employees out of good-paying jobs. And, also as usual, there is abolutely nothing any of us can do about it. These elites control our lives, like we're so many pieces on a chess board and not actual human beings.
Given that this is fait accompli, all we can do now is make the best out of a terrible situation that was brought on by HealthAlliance execs' greed and incompetence. Converting the old hospital to an UCCC satellite might be the best we can hope for at this point.