In three days, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition to save Bradford Regional Medical Center from a reduction in services planned by its parent company, Upper Allegheny Health System.
After months of rumors, hospital officials last week released a plan that would involve moving acute care and surgical services from BRMC to Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital. State Rep. Marty Causer and county and local officials have been meeting with hospital executives in an effort to forestall the plan.
Causer, R-Turtlepoint, shared the update on Wednesday, adding that he knows there are even more than the 2,308 signatures on the online petition accessible via his website, www.RepCauser.com
“People are coming to my office in Bradford and wanting hard copies that they can get filled,” he explained in a call with The Era. “We’ve had a steady flow of people coming to the office.”
Calling the petition a “call to action,” Causer said people in McKean County, and people who are natives, or who have relatives that still live here, are signing it, too.
“The response has been tremendous,” he said. “There have been a lot of people reaching out on the issue. People are asking ‘how can I help?’ They are very concerned, very upset.”
Lots of ideas are being exchanged, too, he shared.
“I’m even hearing from people who want to talk about opening their own surgery center in Bradford, because they feel like Upper Allegheny is abandoning the community,” he said.
The situation is being monitored on the federal level as well. Taylor McCarthy, spokesperson for Congressman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., said, “Congressman Thompson has been in regular communication with Bradford Regional Medical Center and as a former health care professional, he is deeply concerned about access to quality care and the continuation of critical services in our communities.”
State Sen. Cris Dush, R-Brookville, did not return messages seeking comment.
While hospital officials haven’t said much beyond the announcement of pending changes, spokesman Dennis McCarthy did confirm what services will continue to be
available in Bradford.
“Full-service emergency department. Ten medical beds, all Behavioral Health services, all services at Pavilion at Bradford Regional Medical Center,” he listed. “Current and future physician office services include: orthopedic care, cardiology, cancer care, pediatrics, colo-rectal and general surgery, urology and family care. Women’s Health Services will continue at Universal Primary Care through its office on Interstate Parkway. Continuing BRMC outpatient services include: telehealth, imaging, laboratory services, sleep care, respiratory care, cardiac rehabilitation, Upbeat Wellness, occupational health and wound care. Not a medical service but Meals on Wheels also continues, as does the School of Radiography.”