Committee planned to help determine future of current hospital site

OBSERVER Photo A parking lot at Brooks Memorial Hospital was created after a former church was demolished in 2012 at Fifth Street and Central Avenue.

What will happen to the current Brooks Memorial Hospital location at Sixth Street and Central Avenue now that a site off Route 20 in Pomfret has been selected?

The Brooks board of directors, in a news release, stated it is committed to an open dialogue and transparent decision-making process regarding the reuse of the Central Avenue facility.

They will partner with Kaleida Health, leveraging their experience in reusing the former Deaconess Hospital, Millard Fillmore Hospital, and now most recently, the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

“We understand the concerns of immediate neighbors, community leaders, and citizens in general, that the reuse of this property should contribute to the positive development and improving quality of life in the neighborhood, the City and the Chautauqua County region,” said Lanski. “At the same time, the Board of Directors and leadership team at the hospital must also address their responsibility to make decisions that advance the mission of the organization – which is ‘to serve our communities by providing access to quality personalized healthcare.’ “

Virginia Horvath, president of the State University of New York at Fredonia, and Lou DiPalma, vice president for the Dunkirk-based Lake Shore Savings have been named co-chairs of the reuse committee. Both are Brooks board members.

To that end, Brooks Hospital will be seating a cross-section of community members to serve on a Hospital Reuse Project Advisory Committee.

Members will be chosen to reflect a diversity of viewpoints across the community — immediate neighbors, local business people, and leaders of community based organizations, professionals with relevant expertise, people from major community institutions, and more.

In general, the committee — they are advisory only — will be asked to provide both substantive advice on proposals for reuse of the property as well as advice on how Brooks Hospital might better engage the broader community. The dialogue will include developing a request for proposal for the property.