SILVER CREEK - Lake Shore Hospital will see some temporary financial relief.
State Senator Catharine Young announced Saturday funding from the New York State Department of Health has been acquired for Lake Shore Hospital.
Young, who organized a rally Saturday at Silver Creek High School, announced she had been working with the Department of Health to secure $1 million in emergency funding.
“We are here to raise our voices to let Albany and all of Western New York know how critical it is to save our hospital.” — Sen. Cathy Young
"I am thrilled to announce today that (Friday) I worked feverishly with the state Health Department and was able to secure $1 million in state emergency funds," Young said Saturday during the rally. "That's great news because if the doors get shut and then locked, it would be very difficult to continue our efforts to save Lake Shore."
Young said Lake Shore Hospital has a deep connection to her family as her grandmother received medical attention at the hospital, helping her grandmother live to be in her 90s.
"As she got older she needed health care because she had a heart problem. Because of the health care she got at Lake Shore, it extended her life so that she could have a full life until the age of 93," said Young. "That hospital has a deeply personal impact on my family and I know it has a deeply personal impact on your families."
State Sen. Mark Grisanti, who represents the area to the north of Lake Shore Hospital, said if the hospital were to close, it would not only affect Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties but also Southern Erie County municipalities such as Brant, Angola and Evans, among others. "It's absolutely spectacular," Grisanti said of Young working to acquire funds for the hospital.
State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, who was unable to attend the rally sent a representative on his behalf. Keith Byran, director of operations for Gallivan, thanked Young for helping the hospital stay open for now by securing the funds.
Congressman Tom Reed commended Young for acquiring the funds through the state health department. He also said he had been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get funds for Lake Shore from several years ago. Reed has been in contact with Jerome Hatfield, a regional director for FEMA, inquiring about funds from the 2009 flood that hit Silver Creek and Gowanda.
"(The year) 2009 is when flooding occurred and had a major impact on this community and its health care services. As it's 2014, we are still waiting for a final determination as to when that application to FEMA and its related funding will be decided upon, either yay or nay," said Reed. "(Hatfield) promised in the very near future we will get a determination on that request."
That FEMA money will help attract investors who may be interested in purchasing the property and help with the long-term plan for Lake Shore Hospital, according to Reed. He hopes within the next two weeks a determination from FEMA will be made and he hopes it will be a positive one.
"It's a positive step in the right direction. It gives us some breathing room. It buys us some time so we can continue to find a qualified buyer and operator of Lake Shore so they can keep operating. We are not there yet, but we are making progress," Young said.
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