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UPDATE: Borrello calls plans for former Lakeshore site ‘a new era’

OBSERVER file photo The former TLC-Lakeshore Medical Center will reopen as a 100-plus bed behavioral and mental health facility.

State Sen. George Borrello is applauding the recently announced plans for the former TLC-Lakeshore Medical Center.

On Thursday, Northeast Medical announced the hospital campus that has been shuttered since February 2020, is set to undergo a transformative revival. Northeast Medical — which also goes be NE Med — calls itself a dedicated group of professionals from various fields. It is in contract to purchase the property with plans to reopen it as a 100-plus bed behavioral and mental health facility.

Borrello has been a leading advocate for repurposing and reopening Lakeshore as a healthcare facility, collaborating with various private and public entities to explore options for its revival.

“After years of working and waiting, it appears the stars have finally aligned for healthcare in Northern Chautauqua County,” he said. “The announcement that Northeast Medical is under contract to purchase and operate the former TLC-Lakeshore facility culminates four and a half years of work and advocacy to find another provider to serve our area’s healthcare needs. Coming just weeks after the announcement that the new Brooks Hospital will be built, this latest triumph is more proof that a new era of healthcare is on its way to Chautauqua County.

“Particularly important is the fact that this new medical center will restore the mental health services that the area lost when Lakeshore closed. With our population’s mental health and addiction problems skyrocketing, the need for a center like this in our rural community is enormous. Lives will be saved here, and hope restored.”

This new center will also provide essential addiction recovery and treatment services.

“Our goal is to leverage as much of the existing infrastructure as possible, renovating the facility to meet pressing local mental health needs, including addiction treatment and support,” said Joe Bonilla, director of external relations for NE Med. “We are currently assembling our executive team and seeking to identify additional uses within the behavioral and mental health categories.”

NE Med aims to close escrow on the campus before September of this year, with plans to submit renovation proposals to the town of Hanover, as well as Chautauqua County, by November of this year.

Pending approvals, construction is expected to begin shortly thereafter. NE Med is committed to exploring all viable options for funding the reopening of this important community resource.

Reflecting NE Med’s commitment to community involvement, the new mental health center, tentatively dubbed the “New York Medical Center,” will be formally named through town meetings by the people it will serve.

NE Med’s business model focuses on rehabilitating facilities like the TLC-Lakeshore campus, repurposing them to provide critical care to underserved communities.

This project is a significant step forward in addressing the mental health care gap in the greater Buffalo region.

By reopening and repurposing the former TLC-Lakeshore Medical Center, NE Med will restore a vital rural community asset and improve the quality of life for local residents.

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