Brooks/TLC merger complete

Following the approval of by the New York State Department of Health through the Certificate of Need Process, and filings with the New York State Attorney General and the New York Secretary of State, the formal merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital, Dunkirk, and TLC Health Network, Irving, NY, has been finalized. The new merged organization will be known as Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc.

“We are pleased to report that the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network is complete,” said Christopher Lanski, Board Chair of Brooks Memorial Hospital. Lanski will serve as Board Chair of the new organization. “The merger is another step in our transition to preserve and enhance access to quality healthcare service for Southern Erie and Chautauqua counties.”

James Wild, MD, Board Chair of TLC Health Network said, “As volunteer board members, our primary obligation is to ensure that the community has access to health care services. We have supported the merger and the creation of the Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., in order to protect our mission of care to the region and the patients we have pledged to serve.”

Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network have been operating under a management agreement with Kaleida Health, Buffalo, to oversee operations under a unified single board of directors and a unified leadership and management team.

“The recent emergence of TLC from bankruptcy was a critical event in clearing the way for Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network to take the next step — the merger of the two hospitals,” said Mary LaRowe, President and CEO of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network.

LaRowe will serve as President and CEO of the Brooks-TLC Hospital System. She has been serving as president and CEO of Brooks Memorial and TLC Health Network under a management agreement between the hospitals and Kaleida Health.

The current management team at Brooks and TLC will join LaRowe in leading the new organization including: Jodi Witherell, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Vice President of Quality; Wendy L. Luce, Vice President of Behavioral Health and Chemical Dependency Services: and Jeff Morgan, Vice President of Finance. The search for a new Vice President for Operations will soon be finalized.

“With the merger now complete, the Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. will now move forward in the process of formally affiliating with Kaleida Health,” LaRowe said.

“These are extremely challenging times for rural hospitals,” LaRowe explained. “Sadly, across the nation we are seeing more and more rural hospitals close due to inability to cope with the impact of reduced reimbursement for services. This will not be the case for Southern Erie and Chautauqua counties. We are excited about the future of healthcare in our region,.”

She explained that both the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network and the affiliation with Kaleida Health are a response to the rapidly changing healthcare environment. “The merger will better position us for success in meeting the healthcare needs of our communities for years to come,” she said.

“It is incumbent on those entrusted with operating our hospitals that we do so smartly, utilizing resources wisely to deliver care. We are fortunate to have the support of a wonderful staff and great physician partners in achieving success in meeting our mission of service,” LaRowe said.

“Within the context of the merger, the Kaleida Health affiliation, a new hospital to replace Brooks Memorial Hospital and the future development of the TLC campus as a center of excellence for ambulatory services, we are extremely optimistic for the future of patient care in Southern Erie and Chautauqua Counties under the Brooks -TLC Hospital System.”

“As always, we thank the patients we serve and the community for their support of our efforts,” she said.

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