Legislator to officials: ‘do what is best’

Chautauqua County Legislator George Borrello is calling on the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York “to do what is best” when it comes to Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving.

Borrello, who represents Hanover and Silver Creek, says in an open letter to the board of directors that there is an offer on the table for the hospital, but the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center would rather not sell the facility.

Here is the full text of Borrello’s letter:

“This is an open letter to Mr. Chris Lanski and the board members of Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York. I am urging you to do the right thing when it comes to the purchase offer for Lake Shore Health Care Center that has been presented to your current CEO, Gary Rhodes.

“Since the announcement of your plans to close this vital facility, many people, including myself, have been diligently working to save this community asset from closing. You now have an offer in front you that is more than fair and will fulfill your obligation to the community you serve in your not-for-profit status.

“Since your announcement you have said you have been seeking a buyer for the hospital. However, in my investigation of the situation, there is a clear conflict of interest between the UPMC Hamot executive team that you have hired and what is in the best interest of our county. I fear that the LERHSNY board of directors is not being given an accurate representation of the offers that have been made. I am equally concerned that Mr. Rhodes is making unreasonable demands, through the broker, that are clearly not standard in business transactions between two parties with honest intentions to complete a deal. I make that claim with first-hand knowledge of the current offer that is before the board.

“If you truly intend to do what is best, by allowing this hospital to be sold to a group of investors that intend to continue its operation, then you should accept this current offer and instruct your broker, The Hill Group, to allow the necessary due diligence time for a transaction of this magnitude.

“Also, you need to continue to operate the facility in good faith so operations are not jeopardized. This is no different than if you were to sign a contract to sell your house. Once you make the deal you need to keep the house in the condition that was agreed upon in the sale. You wouldn’t start stripping out the copper piping or taking out light fixtures and door knobs.

“If your true intention is to sell the hospital and your commitment to the community is genuine, then you need to follow through with this offer and help save jobs and the critical healthcare services that Lake Shore Health Care Center provides.”