Rapid Care quickly shuts but plans to reopen

COPAKE—The Copake Rapid Care Center is now closed—temporarily.

Last week The Columbia Paper reported that Columbia Memorial Health’s (CMH) Copake Rapid Care Center at 283 Mountain View Road would cut its days and hours of operation as of October 1.

CMH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Clifford Belden said in a statement received September 28, two primary factors—the continued resurgence of Covid-19 cases, and a critical shortage of clinical staff—had contributed to the cut back.

But this week, visitors to the center found a sign affixed to the front door. It says:

“Rapid Care is closed until further notice. If you need medical assistance, please visit our locations at Valatie Rapid Care, 2827 U.S. Route 9, Valatie, NY 12184 or Catskill Rapid Care, 10 Grandview Avenue, Catskill, NY 12414. You can also schedule a Televist [sic] by calling 518-758-4300.”

No notice of the temporary closure had been sent out to patients by email or otherwise, though an email advertising the availability of TeleHealth appointments was received by email October 1.

Town officials also did not know the center had closed.

Contacted by email this week for an explanation about the closure, CMH Spokesman William C. Van Slyke issued a statement, “As our state and region continue to experience unprecedented patient volumes, CMH has redeployed staff to best meet patient needs. CMH Rapid Care services have been temporarily consolidated to two geographic locations, Valatie and Catskill. The Copake Rapid Care facility has temporarily suspended in-person Rapid Care visits, however, CMH has opened up availability of tele-health visits every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 518-758-4300. As always, please call 911 for any life threatening emergency. This action is temporary. We will return to normal operations as soon as possible.”

Asked about the doctor’s office (Callan Family Care), which also operates out of the Copake Rapid Care Center, Mr. Van Slyke said, “The primary care practice at Copake is not impacted by these changes.”

Dorinda Midwood, DO, is the primary care physician at the Copake facility who practices family medicine. Call for an appointment at 518-329-3900 or 518-329-1040.

Contacted for comment on the Copake Rapid Center closure, Copake Town Supervisor Jeanne Mettler responded by email, “We are gratified that this closure is temporary. Residents of Copake and the Roe Jan community have come to rely on this facility, and we are anxious for its reopening. We will welcome updates on when that reopening is expected. Clearly Covid is still taking its toll on this community and we look forward to the day when Copake Rapid Care is open—and we are beyond the reach of this virus.”

The Copake Rapid Care Center, located in one end of the Community Rescue Squad building, opened to the public in June 2016. The 2,600 square-foot medical facility has five exam rooms including one autism-friendly pediatric treatment room plus a procedure room.

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremonies five years ago, former State Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43rd), who secured $350,000 in state budget funds to make the center happen, said she was proud to have been part of this team effort. She acknowledged a long list of partners in the private-public endeavor, including hospital officials, officials from Copake and surrounding towns, Hamlet Revitalization Task Force members, Community Rescue Squad Executive Director the late Joe LaPorta and Copake Community Service, Inc.

“As we cut the ribbon for this wonderful new Copake Rapid Care facility we keep our promise to help meet the health care needs of Columbia County families,” she said.

Former Copake Supervisor Jeff Nayer also spoke at opening ceremonies noting the rapid care center is at a “strategic location in Copake,” where it serves the Roeliff Jansen area in Columbia County and northern Dutchess County by saving residents the 30- to 40-minute drive needed to seek comparable medical attention elsewhere.

To contact Diane Valden email

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