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Town Board Backs Sagamore

State plan to close Dix Hills center for children draws opposition.

Speakers underscored the need for the Dix Hills center at the Town Board meeting this week. Photo Credit: Pam Robinson
Speakers underscored the need for the Dix Hills center at the Town Board meeting this week. Photo Credit: Pam Robinson
The Town Board got a standing ovation this week when it passed a resolution urging that the Sagamore Children's Psychiatric Center be kept open.

In July, the state Office of Mental Health proposed a wide-ranging plan that included closing Sagamore and sending children needing inpatient services to Queens or the Bronx. The state plan favors creating 15 regional Centers of Excellence. That plan says, "First and foremost, the redesign of the public mental health system must be good for the children, adults and families we serve" and says that "Nearly 175 years after the opening of the first Asylum, the time has come to fundamentally change the way we think about mental health in New York State. "

About two dozen supporters of keeping the Dix Hills  site open attended the Town Board meeting Tuesday to hear the discussion and vote onthe resolution, which was sponsored by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson. The board passed the resolution unanimously.

"It just unbelievable that the governor is attacking this site that does such great work for those in need," said Nicholas J. LaMorte, president of CSEA Local 1000. "I say kudos to you," to the Town Board.

Cuthbertson said the center "clearly is something that fills a tremendous need and to have it moved to the Bronx or Queens is going to be a hardship on people ."

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