BRADFORD, Pa. – More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to save the Bradford Regional Medical Center from a cut in services planned by its parent company, Upper Allegheny Health System.
After months of rumors, hospital officials released a plan last week that would involve the transfer of acute care and surgical services from the BRMC to the Olean General Hospital. State Representative Marty Causer and county and local officials met with hospital officials in an effort to prevent the plan.
Causer, a Republican from the hamlet of Turtlepoint in McKean County, shared the update on Wednesday, adding that he knew there were still more than the 2,308 signatures on the online petition accessible through his website, www.RepCauser.comr.
“People come to my office in Bradford and want hard copies that they can get,” he said. “We have had a constant flow of people coming to the office. “
Calling the petition a “call to action,” Causer said residents of McKean County and people who are native or have relatives still living here are also signing it.
“The response has been tremendous,” he said. “There have been a lot of people who have looked into this issue. People ask ‘how can I help? They are very worried, very upset.
A lot of ideas are also being exchanged, he shared.
“I even hear people wanting 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 also monitored at the federal level. Taylor McCarthy, spokesperson for U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., Said: “Congressman Thompson has been in regular communication with the Bradford Regional Medical Center and as a former medical professional he is deeply concerned about access to quality care and the continuation of essential services in our communities.
State Senator Cris Dush, R-Brookville, did not return any messages seeking comment.
While hospital officials have not said much beyond announcing the pending changes, spokesman Dennis McCarthy has confirmed what services will continue to be available in Bradford.
“Full service emergency service. Ten medical beds, all behavioral health services, all pavilion services at Bradford Regional Medical Center, ”he said. “Current and future physician office services include: orthopedic care, cardiology, cancer care, pediatrics, colorectal and general surgery, urology, and family care. Women’s health services will continue to Universal Primary Care through its office on the Interstate Parkway. BRMC’s ongoing ambulatory services include: telehealth, imaging, laboratory services, sleep care, respiratory care, cardiac rehabilitation, optimistic wellness, occupational health and wound care.
“Not a medical service, but meals on wheels also continues,” he said, “as does the School of Radiography.”