Chair says future is ‘vibrant’

OBSERVER Staff Report

The chairman of the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York is reassuring residents in northern Chautauqua County that Brooks Memorial Hospital remains “vibrant, trustworthy and forward thinking.”

Christopher Lanski, in a letter to the community today, states that Brooks is independent and “financially stable in daily operations.”

Lanski’s letter comes nearly one month since the health group decided to close Lake Shore Health Care Center on Jan. 31. Here is the complete letter sent to the OBSERVER:

To the Community;

At this time of national uncertainty in health care, the leadership and board of Brooks Memorial Hospital wants to assure the community that your hospital is vibrant, trustworthy and forward thinking.

We will continue as a general medical and surgical hospital with 65 beds and the ability to serve you when you need us. Our numbers – 21,002 patients visited our ER last year – are simple facts. But those numbers really describe families and healing and protecting our community. Our physicians performed almost 6,000 surgeries, all designed to improve our patients’ lives. We value these relationships with our patients and they drive us to be the best.

Horatio G. Brooks, the namesake for Brooks Memorial founded the Brooks Locomotive Company in 1869, growing a profitable manufacturer and establishing his company as the largest employer in Dunkirk and himself as a civic leader. The mansion he bought for himself, wife and two daughters on Central Avenue eventually became Brooks Hospital in 1898. Starting then and for each year since, residents had access to quality local care and did not have to make the long trip to Jamestown or Buffalo for critical hospital needs.

While Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York acts as the parent company, overall Brooks is an independent community hospital which services our local needs. It is also financially stable in daily operations, long-term indebtedness and asset maintenance.

You will hear more from and about Brooks Hospital in the coming days and weeks. We want to better understand your needs and desires for our community hospital. We also want to reassure you that Brooks is here and will be here to meet your medical needs. It is an honor to serve the residents of Dunkirk, Fredonia and Chautauqua County.

Christopher Lanski

Board Chair