Removals, emails add to ire at Lakeshore

One day before a state meeting regarding how to proceed regarding the future of Lakeshore Hospital in Irving, furniture and equipment were reportedly being removed from the facility.

Some of the items that have been taken out of the building included computers, outpatient equipment and surgical items. In addition, a number of documents were shredded.

These actions took place on the eve of what could be a major decision day. The Brooks-TLC Hospital System had hoped to have the campus on Routes 5 and 20 near the Erie County border closed on Jan. 1.

As of last week, the emergency room, which received a full renovation within the last five years and the behavioral health unit, which was continuing to treat at least 15 in-patients last week, remained functioning.

James C. Plastiras, state Office of Mental Health spokesman, told the OBSERVER on Tuesday the next steps may be plotted at today’s gathering. “Brooks-TLC Hospital System has submitted a Comprehensive Prior Approval Request for the closure to the Office of Mental Health. The (Prior Approval Request) is being reviewed by (the Office of Mental Health) and will be considered at the next Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council meeting on January 16.”

Lakeshore staff was made aware of the meeting by the Service Employees International Union 1199 members, some of whom are expected to be in attendance as well as state Sen. George Borrello.

Lakeshore staff earlier this week, in phone calls to the OBSERVER, also indicated their disgust over an email they received regarding the Brooks-TLC Hospital System Inc. golf tournament set for Aug. 3.

The email to all staff, including those being laid off, states: “It’s never too early to start thinking about summer sun and the fun that goes along with it!”

Additionally, employees slated to be furloughed were encouraged to “check (their) email for further information and ways (they) can participate in the upcoming months.”

To those being dismissed, it was one more bitter message they have received in the last 40 days.