General health care snuffed out in Berne, meeting on June 24

To the Editor:

The Enterprise previously reported the decision of Community Care Physicians, PC to close the Berne Family Practice Office (“‘End of an era’: Berne doctor’s office closes,” May 30, 2019).

Tuesday morning, members of the “Vitalist” program — which had been extending medical care directly to home-bound patients— were officially notified that CCP has closed that program as well.

This action effectively snuffs out the last vestige of general health care available to the Hilltowns.

On June 24, there will be a public open meeting beginning at 7 p.m. in the Helderberg Ambulance building at the junction of Cole Hill Road and Route 443 in Berne. Everyone interested in the future of Hilltown-based health care is invited to attend.

The purposes of the meeting will be to:

— Review actions that have been taken locally in response to the closure of the Berne Family Practice Office;

— Determine if community support warrants continuing activity;

— Set a long-term goal, should the group decide to go forward; and

— Devise a set of short-term tasks that might advance progress toward the defined goal.

Thanks in advance to the Board of Helderberg Ambulance for making its building available for this meeting; however, it is important to clarify that the meeting and any subsequent activity are not otherwise supported or endorsed by Helderberg Ambulance as an organization.

Raymond Schimmer


Editor’s note: Raymond Schimmer, an emergency medical technician on the Helderberg Ambulance squad, worked as a vitalist, making visits to homebound patients and communicating with doctor in Berne via computer. See related story.

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