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Ellis unveils changes

Ellis Hospital highlighted its recent changes during an open house at the three campuses throughout Schenectady County.

The hospital, which was forced to merge with St. Clare's Hospital and Bellevue Woman's Hospital as a result of a state mandate, took residents around the building and explained some of the new technology and recent updates.

Hundreds of residents visited the three Ellis Hospital campuses Sunday, Sept. 14, to view the facilities and reacquaint themselves with the new services.

We're very excited to open up to the public, said Wendy Rosher, vice president of clinical services.

She said the open house, is a celebration of the hospitals' consolidation with St. Clare's, on McClellan Street in Schenectady, and Bellevue, on Route 7 in Niskayuna. Although Bellevue was supposed to close under the recommendations from the state Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the Berger Commission, Ellis decided to continue services at the Bellevue Woman's Health Care Center.

"Today is about celebrating and showing the public that we are here for them," Rosher said.

Several patients criticized the hospital, saying they experienced long wait times in the emergency room.

"We are working to improve the wait time at the emergency room," Rosher said. She said the hospital has added beds to cut back on wait times.

A spokeswoman for the hospital, Donna Evans, said they added 12 new beds to the emergency department this summer. She also noted that the emergency department is under construction, and will be adding about seven new beds for emergency room patients.

When construction is complete, Evans said, "We will have doubled our emergency department."

Another way the hospital is working to cut down on wait times is in the way they triage patients, moving them more quickly into their rooms.

"Were not taking away from any patient spaces," said Lynne Guarneri, office manager of nurse staffing, on the expansion of the emergency room. She said the hospital revamped the X-ray department and removed a records room to expand the emergency department.

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