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Brooks-TLC partner Kaleida receives $25M state grant

Financial difficulties at Brooks-TLC Hospital System Inc. in Dunkirk have been well documented over the past decade. On Thursday, the major health-care organization that has been working with the northern Chautauqua County institution since 2016 got a needed fiscal boost.

Kaleida Health, which reported losses of more than $100 million in 2020, announced it had received a $25 million grant from New York state. Don Boyd, chief executive officer, thanked Gov. Kathy Hochul for the infusion.

“Today’s news of the $25 million Vital Access Provider Program grant is very much welcomed and needed,” he said. “It’s no secret that our organization, hospitals here in Western New York and across the entire state have been battered by COVID-19.

“Gov. Hochul knows and understands our challenges. Her historic multi-year investment in the health care delivery system is proof that she is listening to our collective concerns. The governor’s commitment to organizations like Kaleida Health will help stabilize hospital operations, improve access to care for the community and help us recruit and retain a strong workforce.”

Seven hospitals are affiliates of Kaleida Health, which is the largest healthcare provider in Western New York. It serves the area’s eight counties with state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive health-care services.

Centers under the Kaleida umbrella include Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, DeGraff Medical Park, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, and Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania and Olean General Hospital.

Brooks-TLC, which is not an affiliate, works with Kaleida through a management agreement that began in March 2016 when the state first announced funding for a potential new hospital. Since then, a total of $74 million has been set aside for the potential facility.

At the moment, both Kaleida and Brooks-TLC have their sights set on the former Cornell Cooperative Extension site on East Main Street in the village of Fredonia that is located across from the Fredonia Central School district and near the Routes 20 and 60 roundabout. However, the state funds have yet to be released as the Health Department has yet to approve the plans for the 15-bed micro-hospital.

Brooks-TLC previously worked with UPMC from 2012 to 2016. UPMC, which has deeper pockets than Kaleida, did not rule out future partnerships with the Dunkirk site earlier this summer. “UPMC is constantly being approached by hospitals and organizations who want to explore opportunities to become part of our successful integrated health care system, and we are always assessing how UPMC can best serve the needs of patients and families in all our communities,” said Susan Manko, vice president for public relations at UPMC regarding Brooks-TLC. “There is nothing new for comment at this time.”

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