Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic expands emergency department

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Hospitals in our area are seeing an increase in demand for emergency care. But if you drive thirty miles into the country, resources are harder to find.

That’s why the Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic is expanding. The new emergency department will be more than double the size of the old one, which is set to be demolished.

News 10 NBC got a look inside of the new, Rob and Pamela Sands Emergency Department on Wednesday.

Besides having room for more patients, there’s also a new space for a Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, known as CPEP for short. Daniel Ireland, President and Chief Operating Office for Finger Lakes Rural Hospitals said there’s a huge demand for care right now. Emergency rooms across the state, and country, are feeling it.

The idea to expand came in 2021, during the peak of the pandemic when emergency rooms were dealing with crowdedness and staffing shortages. We asked Ireland if those issues still persist.

“After COVID, we have continued to see a continued higher volume than, I’d say, in my 33 years that I’ve seen. A pretty steady, high volume is keeping the ER crowded, and hospitals full. We don’t anticipate that’s going to change in the future,” said Ireland. “We do have our struggles with staffing and recruitment, we try to work through that. We have some great efforts. I’m confident we have the staff to handle this size emergency room.”

Some rural hospitals have actually been cutting down on services, since the pandemic. For example, hospitals in Geneva and Penn Yan cut their inpatient psychiatric services; just another reason doctors in Clifton Springs are excited for this expansion.

“It’s a huge problem,” Ireland said. “If you don’t have access to hospitals in rural communities, where you don’t have hospital, emergency rooms or clinics, people will forgo care, they’ll put it off…but when people can drive ten minutes, or fifteen minutes to an appointment, or to seek services, it makes all the difference in their healthcare and our ability to catch illnesses early.”

The official opening is set for Wednesday, Sept. 6.