BRADFORD – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) today delivered thousands of petition signatures in support of preserving services at Bradford Regional Medical Center (BRMC) to officials at Upper Allegheny Health System (UAHS).
Causer and the McKean County commissioners launched the petition drive in response to an announcement in early January that UAHS planned to move all acute care and surgical services out of BRMC to Olean General Hospital, while maintaining an emergency room, some outpatient services and just 10 inpatient beds in Bradford.
“My office was overwhelmed with calls from people who were both shocked and concerned about the fate of our hospital after UAHS made its announcement last month,” Causer said. “They wanted to get involved and make their voices heard. They did so by signing our petition, and today I delivered 4,631 petition signatures to UAHS officials.”
In a letter submitted with the petition signatures, Causer implored the board of directors to consider the voices of the people who signed the petition.
“I wish you were able to hear the stories and sentiments from local residents,” he wrote. “People are not speaking out because of nostalgia. People are not speaking out because of parochial views. People are speaking out because they are genuinely concerned about your proposal and how it will affect health care services for themselves and their families, friends and neighbors.”
Causer noted the proposal to move services to Olean disproportionately affects people who are poor or have limited means of transportation.
“I represent 65,000 residents of Northern Pennsylvania who are afraid for the future of health care access in our region,” he wrote. “After more than a decade of decline at BRMC, many residents are rightfully questioning the commitment of Upper Allegheny Health System to our community.”
Since first learning of the planned changes at BRMC, Causer has been vocal in his opposition to the plan, which would make accessing critical health care services more difficult than it already is for area residents and would lead to a significant loss of jobs.
A copy of the full letter sent to the board is available here
The petition signed by residents reads as follows:
“We, the undersigned, call on the board of directors of the Upper Allegheny Health System (UAHS) to cancel its plans to transfer all acute care and surgical services away from Bradford Regional Medical Center.
“This proposal would have a devastating impact on our community, further reducing our access to critical health care services, increasing existing transportation problems for many residents seeking care, and cutting valuable jobs.
“We call on UAHS and its parent, Kaleida Health, to live up to their commitments to invest in our community and enhance the health care services available to us here in Bradford.”
Representative Martin T. Causer
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman
67th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler