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Letter: No current WNYCPC patient will move to Buffalo campus

No current WNYCPC patient will move to Buffalo campus

A great deal of misinformation has been spread about the relocation of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) to a brand-new facility in Buffalo. The Oct. 16 News article, “Ruling in state court buoys supporters of children’s psych center,” incorrectly states that relocation would involve the “…transfer [of] dozens of children…” from the outdated facility in West Seneca to the new state-of-the-art facility under construction in Buffalo.

The New York State Office of Mental Health has been quite clear that none of the children currently being served at WNYCPC will be moved to the Buffalo campus. The Buffalo campus is presently at the very starting stages of construction and will not be open for several years. In other words, no child currently at WNYCPC will be in treatment in the West Seneca facility in 2019 when the Buffalo campus is completed and accepting new admissions.

The new facility, contrary to opponents’ factually inaccurate assertions, will offer new space that has been carefully designed for youth, with extensive outdoor and indoor treatment, educational and recreation space that is completely separate from adults. In the new location, we will continue to provide the highest quality care that has been the hallmark of WNYCPC.

By relocating Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center from West Seneca to our Buffalo campus, we will be able to reinvest $3.2 million in savings into child and family services currently operating in Western New York, allowing us to serve more than 1,000 additional children and families in the region. This is nearly five times the number of children receiving WNYCPC inpatient services in any given year.

This is truly a win-win strategy that will benefit the young people we serve who require inpatient treatment, and the thousands more we will help to avoid hospitalization.

Ann Sullivan, M.D.

Commissioner, New York State Office of Mental Health

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