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Politicians fighting to keep the WNY Children's Psychiatric Center

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Posted at 10:39 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 10:39:30-05

New legislation has been introduced to keep the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center in West Seneca and to prevent it from merging with the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.

Senator Patrick Gallivan presented the legislation which will amend the mental hygiene law to keep the facility open for children. The state's plan to merge the facility is concerning patients, parents and the community.

"The West Seneca facility is rated among the best in the nation in the treatment of children and teens in need of behavioral health services," said Senator Gallivan. "The proposal to move these vulnerable children into the same facility as adults is not based on clinical science and will jeopardize their treatment. While the proposed merger may save money, it simply is not fair to patients or their families."

Assemblyman Michael Kearns is introducing similar legislation. His proposal would include the 2017 budget and amend the mental hygiene law to stop the two centers from merging.

"Medical evidence clearly shows, when it comes to mental health, children need to be separate from adults to receive the best care," said Assemblyman Kearns. "Since the Office of Mental Health and Governor seem to be ignoring these facts, and the pleas from patients, parents and the community to keep the facility open in West Seneca, I'm proud to introduce and advocate for this legislation in the Assembly."

Assemblyman Kearns says he has received more than 2,000 surveys in the last month from West Seneca residents and concerned constituents protesting the merger.