Saturday, December 11, 2021

Discussion time: Health care

Hoping we can talk health care in the Adirondacks: Are you satisfied with the level of care available in your community? What would you like to see improved? Do you have any stories to share of having to travel a distance to visit a specialist or have a procedure done?

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Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.

18 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    In E’town, where I live, the health center, hospital, and physical therapy are allI amazingly good. AMC isn’t too far. UVM for some specialists but travel would probably be necessary wherever you live.
    In short, very good health care, considering.

  2. Naj Wikoff says:

    The same can be said for Adk Health. The level of high quality surgical care is impressive, as is its new venue in Lake Placid with its physical therapy, sports medicine, and fitness center that includes a salt water pool. Not many small regional hospitals provide such assets. Plus, they have a good relationship with UVM. Travel is an issue, and for them affordable housing for their clinicians.

  3. Zephyr says:

    Like everywhere in the USA we need to move towards universal healthcare. I suggest gradually lowering the Medicare age and allowing anyone to buy in to Medicare who doesn’t currently have coverage. I have been always in the donut hole between making too much for subsidies and finding health insurance too expensive without subsidies. Went for long periods without any health insurance. Paid for a lot of healthcare out of pocket because of this. Universal healthcare would be a major boost to younger people trying to make a living in the Adks without jobs that provide benefits.

  4. Joan Grabe says:

    I would like to note the exemplary job in the ongoing pandemic that the hospital, the Adirondack Medical Center, in Saranac Lake has accomplished. When getting testing results was extremely difficult in 2020 the hospital joined forces with the Trudeau Center to create a lab in the hospital so the North Country could get results in a meaningful time frame. Now in the Delta surge the hospital is treating Covid cases, some on ventilators, and has had to institute modern day infection control procedures and techniques in a relatively older structure. The staff has done an incredible job under difficult circumstances. Plus it takes excellent care of the” normal” health concerns in house and in the community.

  5. Melissa. How familiar are you with single payer health care, its national version popularly known as Medicare for All, its NYS iteration the NY Health Act. Familiar at all with the Campaign for NY Health, the organizing arm for the NYHA? I believe it represents the solution to many issues affecting No Country as well as NYS residents, particularly universal and unfettered access, with no need for prior approvals or restrictions to marrow provider lists. If you are interested, be happy to write a short article about single-payer — anywhere from 1-3000 words, you tell me, outlining basics — cost, benefits + access to easy-to- read online info sources — + responding to questions people might list in their comments. Am a member of the Campaign, essentially the No Country rep for the past 5 years. Live in Long Lake. Please advise. Thanks.

  6. Boreas says:

    I have no PERSONAL experience, but as a healthcare provider have had to refer many patients to BTV, Glens Falls, or Schenalbatroy for 24/7 emergency and specialist care. Much of this is because of lack of specialists in rural areas which is nothing new. Telemedicine is improving in the area, but is not much help with emergency surgery. What can be done? County or state subsidies for specialist care in rural areas. Comprehensive surgical centers will likely be impossible, but expanding emergency and specialist care in SL and/or Plattsburgh would be an improvement.

  7. Linda says:

    TIME for universal healthcare here in NYS, CT, VT and our whole country.

  8. Cristine Meixner says:

    I am no longer satisfied with the level of care provided in Speculator. We used to have a doctor at our primary care center part-time. Then it became Fridays only, then every other Friday. Then none at all. We have a (very good) FNP four days a week and a PA (also good, but not here enough) every other Friday. If one has to see a doctor one has to drive to Mayfield 40 miles away. An ultrasound, x-ray, or other test requires at minimum a drive to the hospital 45 miles away; or for certain needs even further. So far I can live with that, but many other old people (most of our population) cannot make that drive. We are fortunate that we can fill our prescriptions at the PCC, which has meds delivered M-F from the hospital pharmacy, and the staff at the PCC can draw blood and send it to the hospital for analysis. What really annoys me is the Town of Lake Pleasant provides a modern facility and all the utilities for the hospital’s PCC, and the hospital can’t be bothered to provide a doctor 20 hours a week. And of course the excuse is covid, but this situation pre-dates covid.

  9. Ev says:

    We are fortunate living in Schroon Lake with multiple HHHN locations available to us. But for more serious issues we still rely on Glens Falls and south to Albany for specialists. Very very satisfied with HHHN.

  10. Zephyr says:

    An OT comment. I find it odd that people move to rural areas or even supposed “wilderness” places to get away from it all and connect with nature and then demand that all of the world’s modern services follow them to supply their every need. How can someone move to say Hamilton County and then bemoan the fact they have to travel long distances for healthcare or emergency services? I see the same thing in small towns all over Upstate: a huge influx of people from the city who then actively work to make their new hometowns like the big cities they just fled from. Yes, sometimes the newcomers bring new and better ideas, but demanding the same level of healthcare just because you are there seems to be rather selfish. Healthcare is a big industry, requiring all sorts of infrastructure, equipment, trained people, etc. It is more economical and efficient to group these things together where the customers are. There aren’t a lot of customers in the North Country.

  11. Thanks everyone for weighing in. It will help us with future coverage on this topic!

  12. Worth Gretter says:

    My wife needed urgent care while camping on Indian Lake, and she was treated by Hudson Headwaters Health Network at their North Creek location. We were both pleased and impressed with HHHN.

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