LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Ongoing financial challenges have forced a Niagara County hospital to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Hospital president and CEO Anne McCaffrey said the filing and debt reorganization is necessary to overcome a number of financial burdens the hospital has incurred over the past ten years.

"It is imperative that the community understand that the hospital will continue to offer essential hospital services," McCaffrey said. "We have a responsibility to the community and the organization to be sustainable well into the future. The hospital needs to restructure its debt and cease providing services that are no longer viable. It is unfortunate, yet like many other businesses, the decision to restructure cannot be avoided."

McCaffrey added, "During the past several years, ENH strived to provide services at seven different locations. The cost of maintaining these multiple sites was hindering the hospitals financial status. At the end of this year, ENH will offer services at just two locations — 521 East Avenue and 5875 South Transit Road in Lockport. These are considered our prime locations, concentrated according to the population, enabling the hospital to provide services efficiently and meet community needs. These transitions will help us to move forward in a stronger position."

The hospital will hold a community forum at a date yet to be announced where McCaffrey will address the reorganization and answer questions.

Eastern Niagara General employs 400 people.

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