Statement from PEF President Wayne Spence:
I have great news to share with you. We have just learned that we won our fight to keep the doors of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center open!
Today’s announcement that the Cuomo administration has decided to reverse a decision to close the exemplary facility ends a five year battle that saw union members, community members, local activists and government leaders come together to oppose the ill-conceived plan to merge the facility with the adult patient Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
Our thanks go to Governor Cuomo for hearing our pleas and coming to understand that the Western New York Children’s Psych Center is a place of hope for hopeless children and the services these children receive at the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center are unparalleled.
We also thank Senators Patrick Gallivan and Robert Ortt, along with former Assemblyman Mickey Kearns and the entire Western New York delegation for their unwavering support for our cause and their willingness to sponsor legislation to keep the Children’s Psych Center open.
Thank you, members of the PEF Executive Board for allocating fightback money for a campaign to support our brothers and sisters in Western New York in this fight.
And a very special thank you goes to Council Leader and Interim Region 1 Coordinator Stephanie McLean-Beathley, Dave Chudy and Scott Doby of the Save our WNYCPC Coalition, who fought tooth and nail so that these children can remain at WNYCPC where they feel safe and can have hope for a new beginning.
None of this however, could have happened without all of you who wrote letters, made phone calls, attended public hearings and protests, and never gave up on what we knew was right – that a key, critical component to the healing of these children was the therapeutic environment of the WNYCPC itself and to move them to an adult facility would severely impact their recovery.
Time and again we are proving that We Are Stronger Together. Never has this been more true than today.