IRVING, N.Y. — A blow to healthcare services in the Southtowns with the announcement Tuesday that the TLC/Lakeshore Healthcare Center will close at the end of the year.
The Brooks-TLC Hospital System Board of Directors says the campus will shut down on January 1, pending patient transfers.
The closure impacts all services on campus, including outpatient and support services, and chemical dependency services. The Behavioral Health Services is still awaiting final approval for closure from NYS and the the transfer of patients out of the facility. That approval is expected sometime in January.
The announcement does not impact the Gowanda Urgent Care and Medical Center or TLC chemical dependency clinics in Derby and Cassadaga.
"Despite efforts to reduce expenses and maintain hospital services, the losses being incurred at the TLC Campus continue to rise," said Christopher Lanski, board chair. "Simply put, patient volume is too low to maintain services and cover the cost of operating the campus".
In addition to the loss of patient services, approximately 141 full time and 60 part time employees are affected by the decision. The hospital system says it will make every effort to place those workers in open positions at Brooks-TLC Hospital System where possible in addition to making them aware of employment opportunities elsewhere.
"Closing the TLC/Lakeshore Health Center Campus is a difficult decision and we understand the impact on employees and the community," added Lanski. "However, there is no other option and we need to implement this action to ensure a sustainable healthcare system to serve the region, which includes our plans to build a replacement hospital for the former Brooks Memorial Hospital".
New York State Senator George Borrello (57th District) issued this statement:
“Access to quality health care is a continuing challenge in rural communities as today’s announcement of the impending closure of TLC/Lakeshore Health Center underscores.
“However, the residents of our region have a right to expect access to quality health care services. I am greatly concerned that Lakeshore’s sudden closure, without a reasonable transition period, will negatively impact patient care and the communities in the region that rely on it for emergency services.
“I am also deeply concerned about the hospital’s employees whose livelihoods have suddenly been placed in jeopardy. The January 1 planned closure will not offer adequate time for these workers to find comparable employment.
“In the coming days, I will be in talks with the hospital leadership and other stakeholders to explore all options. While I am sympathetic to the underlying financial realities that led to this difficult decision, people need to come first. We need to do everything we can to help ease this transition for our community and hopefully find viable alternatives to ensure our residents and visitors have local access to those needed services.”
Patients and residents who have questions can call 716-363-3313.