Lake Shore: Ounce of hope in bleak time

Is there anything that can be done to save the Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving?

While local elected officials are saying all the right things about attempting to assist, the facility was on track to lose $7 million this year. That, in itself, is no easy fix.

In the late 1990s, WCA Hospital in Jamestown was in deep financial trouble. Money was going out much quicker than it was coming in. During a county Industrial Development Agency meeting in Jamestown, headed by then chair Frank Pagano, the hospital sought a major loan to keep its operations afloat.

The IDA, without a full board in attendance, voted it down.

So bleak and urgent was the situation, Pagano scurried to get other IDA members to the table – even on conference call – to authorize a revote that day. The second vote passed and WCA Hospital received a loan totaling $20 million. WCA was saved and made it through an unneeded financial crisis.

No loan, however, is the answer at Lake Shore. The facility has bled funds – hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars – for years.

A difficult decision was made by the hospital board on Tuesday. As bleak as it seems now, this may somehow benefit the complex for the future. The building has a new emergency room and has the capacity for adult care. That could be enticing for a health-care operation.

That is the current hope because there is a need for care in the Silver Creek-southern Erie County region. The coming months are crucial for the facility.