EMERGENCY SERVICES
IN THE HUDSON VALLEY

The Emergency Department at Columbia Memorial Health is one of the busiest emergency care centers in the Hudson Valley region. From life threatening conditions such as stroke and heart attack to common injuries and ailments, we treat a wide range of conditions with state-of-the-art technology and a streamlined process that reduces wait times and improved patient outcomes.

High Quality Care

Our ED staff provides high quality, compassionate care when you need it the most. We serve high volumes of patients each year and we make it our priority to take the time and attention required for those suffering from traumatizing medical emergencies. When you walk through our doors, it becomes our mission to make you or your loved one feel at-ease and at comfort. All of our Physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, and Nursing Staff are certified in a myriad of different emergency specialties and provide the most advanced life-saving emergency services when they are needed.

The Emergency Department at CMH is open and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

DIRECTIONS TO CMH EMERGENCY CARE

Emergency Services Information

Are you having a medical emergency? In a true emergency situation, it is safer to call 911 for access to medical care than to attempt to come to the hospital or emergency room on your own. If you’re not sure, it’s better to be safe and call 911.

Call 911 immediately if you or someone around you has these symptoms:

  • Pain or tightness in the chest (heart attack symptoms)
  • Sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness (stroke symptoms)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Choking or difficulty breathing
  • Head injuries
  • Major bone fractures or fractures associated with bleeding
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Unresponsiveness or coma
  • Drug overdose
  • High fever associated with difficulty breathing or with a seizure/post seizure

EMS responders are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to your medical emergencies if need be.

To best serve every member of our community, the Emergency Department does not operate on a “first come, first served” basis. When patients arrive in the Emergency Department, they are assessed by the triage nurse who identifies those conditions requiring immediate attention and then prioritizes a patient’s care based on his or her condition. At times, therefore, other patients may be seen first.

Certain medical conditions require immediate attention or specialized equipment, which is available in selected rooms in the Emergency Department. Our goal is to provide high-quality, compassionate patient care while minimizing your wait.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I make an appointment to see the same doctor who treated me in the E.R.?

A: The Emergency Department does not accept appointments.

Q: What is the best time to come to the E.R.?

A: The Emergency Department is available 24 hours a day for patients who require immediate care. Patients are seen in order based on an assessment of their illness.

Q: How do I know if I need to come to the E.R.?

A: The E.R. is always available to patients who feel that they have a problem that cannot wait for an appointment with your primary care physician.

Q: If I come to the E.R. will my doctor see me?

A: Emergency Department patients are seen by providers with training or experience in the specialty of emergency medicine. We obtain consultations as needed, based on our assessment of your problems.

Q: How long can I expect to wait?

A: The Emergency Department is available 24 hours a day for patients who require immediate care. It is not always predictable how long you will have to wait. Patients are seen in order based on an assessment of their illness.

Q: Can I get an appointment with a specialist from the E.R.?

A: The Emergency Department will refer you to your primary care physician or to a specialist based on an assessment of your problem.

Q: Can I see a specialist if I come to the E.R.?

A: Emergency Department patients are seen by physicians with training or experience in the specialty of emergency medicine. We obtain consultations as needed, based on our assessment of your problems.

Q: Can I get medication samples from the E.R.?

A: We generally do not have a supply of samples for patients as per state regulations.

At CMH, it is our priority to minimize wait time as much as possible in the ED. To accomplish this, we use cutting edge technology, diligent yet thorough staff, and the most efficient practices to get you answers about your health as quickly as possible. One such practice is Bedside Registration, which enables us to minimize the amount of time spent in the waiting room and allows us to diagnose and treat patients as rapidly as possible.

Our Department handles all emergency situations. Patients requiring a higher level of care or more specialized treatment at a trauma center, can receive the high-quality care and condition stabilization that they need at Columbia Memorial and then be transported to an appropriate trauma center.

Undergoing a medical emergency can be a traumatic time for patients and their loved ones, which is why we make it our responsibility to make all of our patients feel as comfortable as possible. In the event that our ED experiences a large number of patients at once, or a very sick (high-acuity) patient, our waiting room has comfortable chairs and a separate pediatric waiting room with a television and complimentary WiFi.

We take pride in our capacity to serve a large volume of patients in our community efficiently, while our culture allows us to get to know everyone that walks through our doors.

Providing you all the benefits of emergency medicine, with a shorter wait.

Our Fast Track at Columbia Memorial Hospital is designed to facilitate the care of non-critical emergencies in a convenient yet timely setting. Our goal is to shorten the time patients with minor illnesses or injuries spend in the Emergency Department without compromising quality. You can expect timely, yet professional care in our Fast Track with all of the resources of a full Emergency Department available to you. Our Fast Track is managed by providers trained in emergency medicine and fully supervised by board-certified physicians.

Because the Fast Track is located within the Emergency Department area at CMH, any laboratory services or X-rays required can be easily performed on-site. Additionally, all of our X-ray units strictly conform with the most up-to-date requirements to ensure that you receive the lowest exposure to radiation. Fast Track’s location within the hospital also gives us access to top specialists throughout the Columbia Memorial Network. If further care should need to be given beyond the services provided by Fast Track, CMH can connect you to the best care providers in the region.

Our Fast Track is open Monday-Sunday 12:00pm-10:00pm and is located within the emergency department.

Responding to emergencies to save lives in our community. 

A speedy response to initial trauma situations.

Columbia Memorial Health, like the other area hospitals, depends heavily on our Emergency Medical Service providers. These highly-trained individuals very often mean the difference between life and death, and we are proud to have some of the Mid-Hudson Valley’s best responders work with us here at CMH.

EMS providers work in close conjunction with our Emergency Department physicians and are an integral part of the healthcare system. These individuals provide care for our community between home and hospital. Responders are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provide the fastest, highest quality care to our neighbors who are undergoing severe medical emergencies and traumas.

EMS providers initiate advanced cardiac care, advanced stroke care, advanced respiratory care and initial trauma care that save lives of our neighbors and friends. They follow protocols (plans of care) developed by the Regional Emergency Medicine Office (a volunteer group of emergency medical physicians) to meet the specific needs of our community. Our leadership extends into the pre-hospital community, where the ED staff provides medical control for local and regional pre-hospital (BLS and Paramedics) providers. Many of the physicians at Columbia Memorial Hospital serve as Medical Directors for our local EMS agencies.

Support for victims of sexual assault and crime

If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault or crime, you’re not alone. The CMH Forensic Examiner Program is a DOH designated 24-hour Center of Excellence and is made up of health care professionals who have undergone specialized forensic training, coordinate efforts with law enforcement, healthcare, and sexual assault/crime victim professionals. Open since 2005, the program provides immediate, dignified, and compassionate treatment for the victim/survivor, while ensuring timely, accurate collection of forensic evidence. We are dedicated to creating a supportive, caring environment for victims/survivors and their families to enhance the healing process.

What happened to you or your loved one was not your/their fault, and you do not have to go through it alone. We are here to help you. Our services are confidential, available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week and are provided to females and males, both children and adults, without regard to race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

What is a SAFE?

  • Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) are specially trained and certified professionals skilled in performing quality forensic medical-legal exams. Should a case go to trial, the SAFEs are then available to testify.
  • A SAFE can be a nurse, NP, PA, or MD that has been specially trained to perform forensic medical-legal exams.
  • SAFEs are on-call and available 24/7 by beeper. They respond within 60 minutes to the Emergency Department ready to care for the victim of sexual assault
  • SAFEs will document the account of the assault, perform necessary medical exams, testing and treatment, then collect crucial, time sensitive evidence using the NYS Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit.
  • A forensic exam performed by a SAFE can take up to 6 hours from beginning to discharge of the patient.
  • SAFEs provide medical care to survivors without interruption, therefore maintaining the chain of evidence from the exam.
  • SAFEs perform exams with state of the art forensic equipment and supplies and are kept up to date with the latest in forensic science developments.
  • SAFEs receive expert training, supervision, and quality assurance monitoring.
  • SAFEs provide preventative treatment for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy.
  • SAFE enhances public safety through increased prosecution of rapists as a result of the forensic exam performed.
  • SAFEs reduce the impact of trauma on sexual assault victims.
  • SAFEs help reduce violence through providing community prevention education.

Information and Referrals

Prevention information is available to help reduce victimization, and referrals for services not provided by our program can be made to assist you.

Community Education

SAFEs are available as speakers for presentations on various topics. If interested, please call 518-697-5437 and we will return your call on the next business day to accommodate your request.

Advocacy

Advocates are available 24/7 through the Reach Center’s Crime Victims Assistance Program. Advocates are available to meet with you at the hospital to provide emotional support and information about procedures. We make the call for you when you arrive upon your approval.

Get the FACTS about assault and sexual crimes at RAINN.org

Helping families when children face medical emergencies. A safe-haven for children and adolescents visiting the ED

Our pediatric-friendly ED staff is committed to providing high-quality care in a safe and welcoming environment for all children and adolescents. We are committed to reducing the stress experienced by our younger patients, including the adoption of a no-pain approach, when medically possible.

Autism Friendly room at ED and Both Rapid Cares with iPads to help with communication and sensory blankets

In the event that our ED experiences a large number of patients at once, or a very sick (high-acuity) patient, our separate pediatric waiting area is designed to provide a calming environment, including a television and complimentary wifi.

Our PAC System enables us to electronically transfer any imaging performed at the hospital or ancillary campus to a specialist for a consult.

Helping to expedite the healing process in the ED

When it comes to overall health, it’s important to maintain a positive mind-body connection. To achieve this, we have to make our mental health a priority as well as our physical health. At CMH we provide care for both. If you or a loved one needs assistance with mental healing, the CMH mental health unit is here for you.

For those individuals who require a psychiatric evaluation, we make it a priority to ease your mind and make you feel comfortable while you’re receiving care. Our Emergency Department includes a modern, self-contained unit with private rooms, bathrooms, a television and nutrition station dedicated solely to mental health patients. The area is staffed by counselors, social workers and specially trained mental health aides who help speed up the process of healing.

Fast access to care for injuries and common services.

Visit Rapid Care Website

If you’re sick and can’t wait to see your doctor, visit the CMH Rapid Care in Copake and Valatie, no appointment necessary. We see patients of all ages who have minor medical emergencies that are not life—or limb—threatening. If you have an injury which cannot be dealt with at the family doctor’s office without an appointment, just walk in.

Our experienced team of doctors, associate practitioners and nurses are trained to provide high-quality urgent care to patients throughout the community. They have access to onsite services such as X-ray, lab tests and pharmacy. Our PAC system enables us to electronically send X-rays, when required, to leading specialists, near and far.

As a network, CMH strives to reduce the amount of expensive, high-demand emergency care in our community, by offering the best care when primary care is unavailable. Our Rapid Care facilities in Copake and Valatie help CMH promote wellness throughout the community and helps keep ED attendance down.

CMH Rapid Care locations and hours

CMH Rapid Care – Copake
283 Mountain View Rd.
Copake, NY 12516
(518) 329-3902
Open every day, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. May 15- Sept 15

CLOSED Thanksgiving Day
CLOSED Christmas Day
Closes at 2:30 New Year’s Eve

CMH Rapid Care – Valatie
2827 Route 9
Valatie, NY  12184
(518) 758-4300
Open every day, including all Holidays, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Offering cutting-edge technology and imaging.

Our Emergency Department uses a state-of-the-art electronic medical record (EMR), called Wellsoft ( late Jan 2020) For patients with ongoing health conditions, Wellsoft  allows the ER staff to immediately access previous ER visits to quickly view past treatments, test results and prescribed medications. Upon being discharged from the ER, all patients are provided with clear, legible discharge instructions, which include prescription information.  We provide a faxed copy of your record to your primary care provider as well as have the ability to access all CMH Primary Care patients records.

Cutting-edge technology to quickly treat symptoms, and access to specialists 24/7/365. Click here to learn more about heart attack and stroke symptoms. 

Expert care and access to leading specialists

If you think you or someone around you is experiencing a stroke or cardiac emergency, please call 911 immediately.

At CMH, we take stroke and cardiac emergencies very seriously, which is why we’ve committed to making informed, pro-active and quick decisions about what kind of treatment is best for each patient. We prioritize the order in which we see patients based on the seriousness of their ailment, and do our best to keep stroke and cardiac emergencies at the top of that list. The caring and friendly culture of our hospital gives us the ability to treat each patient as a neighbor, allowing us to provide the most comfortable and informative care in the Hudson Valley. We are an award winning AHA Stroke Center and have received the highest honor in the nation a Gold Plus for two years running.

Stroke Emergencies: In a stroke emergency, every minute counts. We are proud to be a Designated Stroke Center by the State of New York. Warning Signs of Stroke

Cardiac Emergencies: The CMH emergency team is trained to respond to all cardiac emergencies and heart attacks. Columbia Memorial Hospital has a state-of-the-approach to cardiac emergencies, including the use of hypothermia. We are a Designated Hypothermia Center by the state of New York We have a unique relationship with AMC for Cardiac Emergencies that require Catherization. Working hand and hand with CMH and AMC Cardiologists. Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Learn about the people who make our ED the best in the area.

  • Michael Weisberg, MD Chief of Emergency Medicine, Medical Director of Observation Services and Rapid Care Centers
  • Jeff Burns, RN Nursing Director of Emergency & Observation Services
  • Steven Manierre, DO Associate Medical Director of Emergency Services
  • Antionette Vanvalkenburgh, RN Nurse manager of Emergency & Observation Services
  • Stephen Mesick, MD Associate Medical Director Emergency Services
  • Karoline Shott, RN Nurse Educator for Emergency Services
  • Patrick Bafuma, PA Lead Advanced Practice Associate Emergency Services
  • If you are facing a medical emergency, call 911 now.

Get directions to the CMH Emergency Department.