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Ogdensburg hospital COO appointed to regional team that will recommend north country outpatient psychiatric services

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OGDENSBURG — The chief operating officer of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center will co-chair a regional team tasked with determining what community-based psychiatric services will be available in the north country once inpatient services are moved out of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.

Vicki E. Perrine has been appointed as one of three co-chairs to lead the Central New York Regional Center of Excellence Team. The other co-chairs are Dr. Matt Cattalani, clinical director of Hutchings Psychiatric Center, Syracuse, and Otsego County Community Services Director Susan Matt.

St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force Chairman Charles W. Kelly said he is pleased that a north country medical professional will help lead the team.

“She’s certainly very well qualified,” he said. “She knows the needs of the north country and the needs of its hospitals.”

The state Office of Mental Health has proposed moving inpatient psychiatric services from the Ogdensburg psychiatric center to facilities in Syracuse and Utica.

The state is looking to place less emphasis on costly inpatient care and put in place more community care and support for the mentally ill.

Five regional teams will make recommendations on what community services should be offered in their respective regions: Central New York, Western New York, Hudson River, New York City and Long Island. The Central New York Region includes the north country.

The three co-chairs from each regional team also will serve on a steering committee that will advise the state Office of Mental Health commissioner on a final plan to implement the recommendations.

The steering committee will hold its first meeting Tuesday, which will be streamed online via Google Plus at http://wdt.me/5NwGpb.

Footage of the meeting will also be available on the OMH YouTube page after it ends.

A full list of steering committee members is online at http://wdt.me/emHtN7.

According to the OMH website, which announced the appointments, the rest of the Central New York Regional Center of Excellence Team will be appointed in the near future.

The panel will have up to 15 members in addition to its co-chairs.

“I would hope that there will be more professionals from Oswego to Plattsburgh acknowledged to have input on that team,” Mr. Kelly said.

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