Petition circulating to keep Brooks in Dunkirk

OBSERVER Staff Report

Even though Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. appears intent on relocating to Fredonia, some Dunkirk residents are not giving up the fight to keep the hospital in the city.

Frank Beach of Dunkirk has been sending around a petition for the last two to three weeks to keep the hospital in Dunkirk. He has garnered more than 1,500 signatures, including more than 200 from Fredonia.

Beach said he intends to deliver the petitions to Cuomo personally in February. He believes the state funds that Brooks-TLC wants to use for the new building have not been officially granted, so he’s also lobbying to get the funds rescinded.

His letter reads as follows:

“Dear Gov. Cuomo:

“On behalf of the people of the City of Dunkirk and those whose family and/or friends will be negatively impacted by this proposed relocation I, as a member of the Dunkirk Democratic Committee, am presenting petitions requesting your help in keeping Brooks Memorial Hospital on Central Avenue in the City of Dunkirk. (Additional petitions are continuing to be circulated.)

“I am asking on behalf of my fellow citizens that you, Governor Cuomo, along with Mr. Howard Zucker, NYS Commissioner of the Department of Health, stop the relocation of Brooks Memorial Hospital. The funds provided by NYS to Kaleida Health Network to relocate the hospital can be better used to renovate the current structure and make it a multi-use medical facility to include physician offices, ambulatory surgical, endoscopy, and geriatric care, imaging and outpatient units in addition to in-patient rooms.

“There is sufficient space within the current footprint to add an urgent care facility for the more routine medical issues and to renovate the current emergency room services. These proposed renovations, in my opinion, would be a better and more efficient use of the current funds allocated for the relocation of Brooks Hospital; and would save a major historical building which is one of the anchors to our downtown. Brooks Memorial Hospital, in its current location, can be easily equipped with the latest and most up-to-date internet technology to include telemedicine and eHealth virtual medical treatment.

“Location is paramount to healthcare services in this area. The current facility provides easy access to those visitors and patients with limited transportation availability and walk-ins. Many of our population use public transportation and rely heavily on CARTS buses. Brooks Memorial Hospital is easily accessible from the thruway, routes 5 & 20; and the heliport is less than one-half mile away. The facility has ample parking capacity needed to accommodate the patients and staff and could support a parking garage.

“I implore you to hear the cries of these citizens and honor them by keeping Brooks Memorial Hospital on Central Avenue in the City of Dunkirk.

Most Sincerely,

Frank Beach

Dunkirk Democratic Committee Member

City of Dunkirk, New York”