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      Oswego Health responds to state report on baby born in parking lot

      Fulton Urgent Care / file photo

      In response to a story you saw first on CNYcentral.com, Oswego Health has issued a statement about the way it responded to a woman giving birth in the parking lot of its Fulton Urgent Care facility.

      Oswego Health spokesperson Marion Ciciarelli criticized the reporting of CNY Central's Jim Kenyon as part of a seven paragraph statement about the incident. She also laid out a plan to educate the public about the role of Fulton Medical Center which was once a hospital, but is now an urgent care center.

      Ciciarelli started by saying Oswego Health can now comment on what happened because of the conclusion of the New York State Investigation into the December 27th incident involving Amy Roy giving birth in the parking lot. The statement then says: "the policy that is required by NYS DOH to handle emergency situations such as compound fractures, births and heart attacks requires that 911 be called to ensure that patients can be quickly moved to an appropriate level of care. This is precisely what happened in less than five minutes. Initial news stories suggesting the mother was kept waiting 15 minutes and "denied her access to the facility," were simply wrong and misleading to area residents."

      It was investigative reporter Jim Kenyon who broke the story and was the first to report those facts. When asked directly whether the statement was criticizing Kenyon, Ciciarelli said, "I guess I would say that I want people to realize the facts. We have talked with providers and emergency responders. I want to stand by the statement."

      When asked whether she was saying our reporting was wrong, Ciciarelli said "Yes, we're saying that Channel 3 had the facts wrong."

      On December 27th, Amy Roy says she was in the final stages of labor while her husband was driving her to Crouse Hospital. When Roy realized she couldn't make it to Crouse in time, her husband Jason drove her to Fulton Urgent Care.

      The Roys say a male nurse prevented them from entering Fulton Urgent Care, while staff called 911. By the time fire department and ambulance crews arrived, Amy Roy says she was already delivering the baby. She says her son Maddox was born in the parking lot, in sub-freezing temperatures in view of passers-by. The baby was not harmed by the unusual birth, but the Roys complained about her treatment at Fulton Urgent Care and being blocked from even entering the facility.

      Contacted by phone, Roy says she was "dumbfounded" by the statement. They're trying to make it seem like I didn't know they don't deliver babies there, I know that, I just wanted to be inside a medical facility." In response to the statement's claim that reports she was "denied her access to the facility were simply wrong", Amy replied, "I was not allowed inside, they never even assessed me." Roy says about "6 minutes" elapsed before rescue crews showed up at the parking lot. She figures it took another "4 minutes" before the baby was born, and another "5 minutes" before she and her baby were inside the warm ambulance. "I was in that parking lot for a total of about 15 minutes" Roy said.

      Here is the complete statement from Oswego Health:

      On Tuesday, February 8 the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) announced that the Fulton Urgent Care Center staff acted appropriately in handling the emergency birth of a child. The actions taken by the staff followed the emergency policy, which is required by the NYS DOH. We have been advised that the State now considers the matter closed.

      Now that the State investigation is complete, we believe it TMs important that community members know the circumstances and the actions surrounding this event.

      First, the policy that is required by NYS DOH to handle emergency situations such as compound fractures, births and heart attacks requires that 911 be called to ensure that patients can be quickly moved to an appropriate level of care. This is precisely what happened in less than five minutes. Initial news stories suggesting the mother was kept waiting 15 minutes and denied her access to the facility, were simply wrong and misleading to area residents.

      Secondly, the trained staff of the urgent care center recognized that the patient should not be moved during the progressing birth until additional emergency responders arrived to assist. We would like to commend Menter TMs Ambulance Service and the Fulton Fire Department for their immediate response and clinical support.

      At this time, we are pleased to know that the mother and baby are both healthy following the birth. We are also pleased that the NYS DOH has commented on the actions of the staff so that community members are reassured that the healthcare professionals at the Fulton Medical Center acted appropriately.

      We understand the community TMs concerns and response to the initial news reports of this entire matter and we are taking this issue very seriously. That is why we reported the incident to the New York State Health Department ourselves.

      Finally, we are taking responsibility for addressing people TMs misperceptions regarding the purpose and role of Urgent Care centers. We are planning and will soon announce a series of informational meetings for Oswego County residents.

      February 9 coverage:

      A State Health Department "review" has cleared Fulton Medical Center's Urgent Care of wrongdoing after staff allegedly forced a Minetto woman to deliver her baby in the parking lot.

      On December 27th, Amy Roy says she was in the final stages of labor while her husband was driving her to Crouse Hospital. When Roy realized she couldn't make it to Crouse in time, her husband Jason drove her to Fulton Urgent Care.

      The Roys say a male nurse prevented them from entering Fulton Urgent Care, while staff called 9-1-1. By the time Fire Department and ambulance crews arrived, Amy Roy says she was already delivering the baby. She says her son, Maddox was born in the parking lot, in sub-freezing temperatures in view of passers-by. The baby was not harmed by the unusual birth, but the Roys complained about her treatment at Fulton Urgent Care and being blocked from even entering the facility.

      The State Health Department was notified of the incident by Oswego Health, which oversees Fulton Urgent care and also operates Oswego Hospital. In a statement issued to CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, spokesman Peter Constantakes said "Based on our review, there were no indications that the facility acted inappropriately."

      The statement also says, "staff at the Urgent Care Center had called 9-1-1 immediately upon becoming aware of the situtation and that an ambulance arrived in approximately five minutes." It also states: "Facilities regulated by NYS DOH are required to have a plan to handle emergency situations... that will ensure the patient is moved to the appropriate level of care (e.g., if not equipped to handle a birth, must have procedures to get the patient to a facility that can assist her). The facility's handling of this incident followed that plan."

      Amy Roy tells CNY Central she is "disappointed but not surprised" by the DOH finding. She says state investigators never contacted her about the incident. Roy says she is "not surprised, because they set up the Urgent Care." Roy is referring to the state decision to close the former Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton and turn it into an Urgent Care facility under the supervision of Oswego Health.

      Oswego Health has not yet officially responded. Spokesperson Marion Ciciarelli says Oswego Health will issue a statement Thursday. President and CEO Ann Gilpin has turned down our request for an interview.

      On January 7th, Gilpin sent a letter of apology to Amy Roy which promised an "internal investigation", "disciplinary action" against any employee who "did not act appropriately", and in-service training for the staff at Fulton Urgent Care.

      Here the text of the full response from Constantakes and the State Health Department:

      DOH conducted a review of the incident and found that staff at the Urgent Care Center had called 9-1-1 immediately upon becoming aware of the situation, and that an ambulance arrived in approximately 5 minutes.Based on our review, there were no indications that the facility acted inappropriately.Facilities regulated by NYS DOH are required to have a plan to handle emergency situations (e.g. compound fractures, births, heart attacks, etc.) that will ensure the patient is moved to the appropriate level of care (e.g., if not equipped to handle a birth, must have procedures to get the patient to a facility that can assist her). The facility's handling of this incident followed that plan.NYS DOH jurisdiction does not extend to nurse actions, though there may be exceptions (e.g., gross negligence that affects the regulated facility's ability to provide quality care).

      So what do you think about this story? Did the urgent care facility have the right to deny assistance to this woman? Leave a comment below and give us your opinion.

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