Former county legislator claims Massena Memorial Hospital is discouraging use of new competitor next door
Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 2:42 pm

MASSENA – A former county legislator and Massena resident is calling Massena Memorial Hospital officials "bullies" for their alleged efforts to deter patients from using a new urgent care clinic that opened next door to the hospital.

Charlie Romigh, former legislator and current chair of Massena’s Republican Committee, claims in a letter to the editor also signed by his wife Karen, that the hospital is engaging in “blatantly hateful behavior” toward Mountain Medical Urgent Care, a Lake Placid/Saranac Lake-based clinic that opened on Hospital Drive last week.

“I always thought a hospital was in the business to heal,” Romigh wrote.

“In Massena, our beloved hospital has decided to bully a brand new urgicare clinic that has opened its doors for a brand new badly needed service in this area: urgent care.”

Romigh claims the hospital has placed signs forbidding patients of the clinic from parking in the hospital’s municipally owned lot. He also alleges the hospital has informed staff not refer patients to the clinic.

“Do you really think that to ostracize this business is in the best interests of our community?” he continued, pointing out that the clinic is using hospital services “when they are not capable of performing specific tests.”

According to the clinic’s website, they are an acute care facility that provides evaluation and treatment of non-life threatening medical problems on a walk-in basis.

They can also perform many minor surgical procedures including laceration repairs, removal of skin lesions, care of ingrown toenails, and more.

Testing, such as x-rays, would still need to be done at the hospital.

Romigh goes on to suggest an overhaul of the hospital’s administration and board of managers, and challenges hospital Chief Executive Officer Charles Fahd to respond to his letter in the media.