The Ripple Effect
In Our Opinion...
“Why would we be concerned about Community Hospital in Dobbs Ferry?” asked Mount Vernon’s unique, and somewhat theatrical, Mayor Ernie Davis, who quickly answered his own query, “Because we are inextricably intertwined.” With those opening words the Mayor greeted more than fifty community leaders, city officials, and media who had been summoned to a midmorning press conference in his chambers last Wednesday. The specific,pressing, concern of Mount Vernon officials involved the Archway Substance Abuse Treatment Facility located at 20 East First Street.
The facility, that has been operated since 1991, originally by Yonkers General Hospital, and, in recent years by Saint John’s Riverside Hospital, is in very real jeopardy of closure because of the State Commission on Healthcare Facilities in the Twenty First Century’s report calling for the closing of Community Hospital in Dobbs Ferry, and other institutions blindly perceived as wasteful and duplicative.
Quite simply, the fate of a number of community initiatives throughout the urbanized areas of southern Westchester, underwritten by Saint John’s Riverside Healthcare, hang in the balance, should Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry, their only financially profitable operation, be compelled to shut down. Archway, servicing adjudicated adolescents, homeless persons, individuals under parole, and probation supervision, as well as persons with psychiatric disorders complicated by substance abuse, gave treatment to more than 750 Mount Vernon residents in 2006. Loss of those services would cause a tremendous additional burden to be placed upon police, judicial, healthcare, and other public agencies in the city.
Mayor Davis, obviously distressed by the implications, for his city, of the Berger Commission’s Report, as it has come to be known, declared, “Sometimes when we let bureaucrats make decisions they are not looking at the reverberative implications.”
Clearly, it has become increasingly obvious that closure of Community Hospital in Dobbs Ferry would create a catastrophic hardship in Mount Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Greenburgh, and other areas of southern Westchester.
Recognizing the clear, and present danger The Westchester Guardian, spoke out twice in The Advocate feature, once in the December 7th issue, and, again three weeks later on December 28th. We are heartened by Mayor Davis’ words, because, as we previously applauded, they demonstrate, from still another quarter of our greater Westchester Community, a coming together of forces, and an acknowledgement that, ultimately, we are all in this life, for better or worse, together.
It is our opinion that no municipality, no village, no town, indeed, no city, however, large, or small, can truly isolate itself from the concerns of the rest of the County. Whatever may do serious harm to one community, will ultimately impact all that surround it. It’s called “The Ripple Effect.”