Union seeks more letters of support for Lakeshore from community

Hospital issues

Members of the Service Employees International Union 1199 are not yet ready to give up hope on Lakeshore Hospital.

Furloughed staff, local leaders and community members are being asked again to write letters of support to the state Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan after the facility’s abrupt closing at 7 p.m. Feb. 2. “Hospital administrators blatantly ignored guidance from the (state) Behavioral Advisory Project Review Committee who just the week before cited ‘inadequate planning for assuring the continuity of care in the region on the part of the hospital administration,”’ the union noted on a “Keep Care Alive” link on its web site.

Since the closure of the Irving campus, the Brooks Memorial Hospital emergency room has been accepting patients for psychological evaluations. This means first responders do not have to go to Buffalo, Olean or Jamestown.

Despite the move, which has been approved by the state Office of Mental Health, the same agency has yet to approve closure of the Lakeshore facility. In mid January, state Sen. George Borrello told the OBSERVER — and the Behavioral Advisory Committee — he had a potential buyer for the facility.

There has since been no movement on that issue.

Those hoping to send a message to “Keep Care Alive” at Lakeshore can go to the https://www.1199seiu.org/keep-care-alive link. The deadline to send in comments is Friday.