Upstate and Crouse Address Wait Time Concerns at First Community Forum
Panelists from Upstate Medical University and Crouse Health revealed details of their planned merger in North Syracuse on Monday. The public had the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions at the first community forum hosted by the hospitals.
One of the main concerns at the first community forum was how Upstate’s acquisition of Crouse will affect patient services. Workers and residents specifically asked what this would do for wait times.
Some of those present criticized Upstate for the long wait times, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they fear Crouse Hospital will comply with Upstate patient delays once merged.
However, hospital officials say the merger will instead prevent these problems from occurring as the hospitals share resources. Upstate University Hospital President Dr. Mantosh Dewan said part of the reason wait times are so high is due to staff shortages and that the mix of staff will help.
“We will protect all services and all beds and all employees. First, it’s the right thing to do, but more importantly, selfishly, we need everyone. We have over 1,000 open positions at Upstate. We would like more people to work there.
Upstate and Crouse officials said joining the two hospitals is complementary and improves services.
Assemblyman Al Stirpe attended the first community forum. He fully supports the merger, saying it will benefit the whole community.
“You’re taking the strengths of both hospitals… NICU, you know, for preemies, that’s what Crouse is known for. They don’t need to do that to Upstate. They don’t need to have two stroke centers. They need not have two heart centers. They don’t need all that duplication. But they could take the best of each and then develop them and make them even better,” Stirpe said.
Stirpe says if the merger doesn’t happen, the state would have to spend $100 million updating Upstate’s outdated emergency room. Meanwhile, Crouse has just built a new emergency department that includes urgent care, which would help provide more resources to both hospitals.
The next community forum will take place at the Southwest Community Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18.