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E.J. Noble board comfortable with either alternative for lab supervision

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GOUVERNEUR — The E.J. Noble Hospital board split at a meeting Friday morning over whether to go with Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, or Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, for supervision of its lab.

“I think we’re going to be comfortable with either one,” said Dr. Timothy J. Monroe, a veterinarian and board president.

The proposals by Samaritan and CPH are being evaluated by the state Department of Health, which shut down the E.J. Noble lab Friday for deficiencies, in consultation with Dr. Gregory A. Threatte, who was recently hired as E.J. Noble’s lab director.

Dr. Monroe said he thought Dr. Threatte was leaning toward Samaritan principally because it was larger.

“The quality certainly is equal,” Dr. Monroe said. “We’ll be happy with either decision.”

Neither proposal mentioned money.

CPH would provide circulating lab supervisors while the Samaritan proposal was for a single individual who might supervise the lab for several years, Dr. Monroe said.

“Our involvement could start as early as Monday,” Samaritan spokeswoman Krista Kittle said. “But that doesn’t mean the lab will open then.”

The Health Department will decide if and when the lab reopens and has made no promises to E.J. Noble on a time frame, Dr. Monroe said.

E.J. Noble is also required to submit a corrective plan by Wednesday although Dr. Monroe said he thought Administrator Charles P. Conole would do that today.

“Everybody wants to get back to work but you have to address the issues,” Dr. Monroe said.

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