Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to expedite the release of over $1 million in already-approved reimbursements owed to the TLC Health Network from outstanding Project Worksheets to keep Lake Shore Health Care Center open until a buyer can be found.
The TLC Health Network is currently navigating Chapter 11 bankruptcy and struggling to keep Lake Shore up and running, as it quickly draws down on remaining available funds. They are negotiating with two prospective buyers, but there is concern that if Lakeshore is forced to close its doors, those negotiations may be put on hold. Schumer has identified three outstanding worksheets - where the hospital system has already spent the funds and FEMA has agreed the costs are reimbursable - that FEMA has yet to reimburse for TLC; now he is pushing for their immediate release.
These worksheets have been pending for over a year, stemming from TLC-owned Tri-County Hospital in Gowanda, and reimbursements could be used immediately to help keep Lake Shore open for longer. Schumer highlighted Lake Shore's value to the local community, both in the services they provide, and the number they employ; Lake Shore's 460 employees make it one of the largest employers in northern Chautauqua County.
"Lake Shore Health Care Center is on life support and FEMA is sitting on over a million dollars of approved reimbursements for its owner, TLC Health Network, which could keep Lake Shore's lights on until a sale is completed. So I'm calling on the feds to release this money as soon as possible because TLC needs all the help it can get," said Schumer. "It is my goal to avoid any closure of Lake Shore, and transition to a new owner that has the long-term finances to support and grow the health center in Irving. Lake Shore - beyond providing an essential service to Western New Yorkers - is one of Chautauqua County's largest employers and a hub of the local economy. We need all hands on deck to keep Lake Shore open during this difficult time, and FEMA needs to do their part."