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Proposed Cut To ER Hours Fuels Online Letter Writing Campaign

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There is an online campaign underway to keep an emergency room in New York’s Orange County open round the clock. It’s part of an effort by union healthcare workers and community members ahead of Wednesday’s hospital board of trustees meeting.

Members of 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital have joined a number of Hudson Valley residents in the push to maintain full-time emergency care at the hospital’s Cornwall campus. 1199SEIU spokeswoman Mindy Berman says the online launch is the first part of a campaign called “Save Emergency Care at St. Luke’s Cornwall”.

“The fact is that most emergencies can’t simply wait until the morning. That’s why they’re called emergencies and that’s why public health law takes emergency care so seriously,” said Berman.

As of Monday afternoon, the “SaveTheCornwallER” site showed some 4,100 letters had been sent to members of the hospital’s board of trustees. In September, hospital officials proposed cutting ER hours at the Cornwall campus, closing from 10 p.m. till 10 a.m. They say the busier Newburgh campus’s ER would remain open 24/7.

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