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County, state officials respond to closing

Chautauqua County and state officials are weighing in on the abrupt closing of the Lakeshore-TLC Hospital in Irving. Most are expressing disappointment and “shock.”

“While I was extremely disappointed to hear this news, the county will be committed to working with the Brooks-TLC Hospital System to develop a sustainable and effective health care delivery system in the north county as well as repurposing the TLC/Lakeshore facility,” said Acting County Executive Stephen Abdella. “The county will also support all re-employment efforts for those displaced by this closure.”

State Sen. George Borrello offered this statement: “In the coming days, I will be in talks with the hospital leadership and other stakeholders to explore all options. While I am sympathetic to the underlying financial realities that led to this difficult decision, people need to come first. We need to do everything we can to help ease this transition for our community and hopefully find viable alternatives to ensure our residents and visitors have local access to those needed services.”

Patricia Brinkman, the county’s Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services, said, “The County Department of Mental Hygiene (DMH) will be collaborating with New York State’s Office for Mental Hygiene (OMH), the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to assure access to psychiatric and addiction inpatient services are available to residents of the north county. DMH will be convening a meeting next week of providers, law enforcement, and community based agencies to discuss how referrals for addiction and psychiatric inpatient services can best be managed in this new environment. DMH has compiled and will be releasing a list of other facilities available to our residents.”

Christine Schuyler, the County’s Public Health Director and Commissioner of Social Services, said, “The County expects Brooks/TLC leadership will ensure continuity of care for those served by the Irving campus, and will offer its full support to those efforts. We are fortunate to have a collaborative community of health care providers in Chautauqua County who will come together to support the needs of our north county residents.”

John Griffith, the County’s Director of Emergency Services, said, “While the news of the closing of Lake Shore is a shock to the EMS community, I have spoken to the Fire Chiefs in Silver Creek, Forestville, Hanover Center, Sunset Bay and Irving and they have all assured me that they will continue to provide EMS services. All have said that they will treat and transfer to the next facility as needed. The Office of Emergency Services has offered to assist with planning as requested. The County Emergency Medical Services ALS Intercept unit stationed in Sheridan is prepared to work with the volunteers to insure patient care as needed.”

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