100 workers to be impacted as Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center loses three wards

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Two wards will be closed at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center in Utica and an additional ward moved to another facility, according to the state's Office of Mental Health. It is a move that will impact roughly 100 employees there.

In a public notice posted Tuesday, the Office of Mental Health said the two wards in Utica would be closing and one additional ward would be moved to Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse. According to the notice, "Such actions shall take place no sooner than 30 days from the date of this notice, but preparatory actions necessary to effectuate these changes shall commence immediately."

The State Office of Mental Health states that it anticipates the effect of these actions will be a "net reduction in the total number of adult inpatient beds at Mohawk Valley and a net increase of adult inpatient beds at Hutchings."

The Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center will continue operation of its existing state-operated residential and outpatient services as well as its inpatient unit for Children and Youth, the office states.

However, the office goes on to state that the reduction of wards in Utica will impact the workforce at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center, but does not state how many workers will be affected and how.

"OMH will develop strategies which attempt to minimize the impact on the state workforce, by providing assistance in obtaining state employment in OMH-operated inpatient and community-based services or other employment opportunities," the public notice reads.

Senator Joseph Griffo's Office says that it has learned that between 70-100 jobs will be affected. The Senator's office say they've been told there will be some transfers of employees to other facilities, but they have not been told as of this writing what percentage of those affected would be transferred.

WKTV has inquiries in to the Office of Mental Health regarding the matter for more details, including how many of those impacted jobs will have the option to transfer, how many people would remain employed at the center following the move, and what the cause of the ward closure and movement were.

In response to those questions, NEWSChannel 2 received the following written response:

"We estimate that approximately 100 people will be effected. Thirty seven or so will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Hutchings Psychiatric with the patients on the ward. Other opportunities will be explored on an individual level."

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