Facility an important institution

Lake Shore Health Care Center is “open for business” during this time of turmoil and uncertainty while the new board brings the interim CEO and staff on board as they work toward a continued operation of the hospital.

The hospital continues to provide patient services just as it has since it opened in the mid-1960s.

I have been a member of the Lake Shore Hospital Foundation Board since the early 1990s and have served in various capacities, currently as its vice president. Our mission with the Foundation has been one of working to provide funding that would be used for the purchase of equipment as defined by the hospital. Most recently, our plan was to purchase equipment for the cardiac rehab unit through funds generated from our annual golf tournament. We continue to look for opportunities like this to support the hospital.

Lake Shore provides a wide range of in-house medical services as well as doctor outpatient suites. Over the years, additional medical units have been built across the street from Lake Shore, allowing the patient a broader range of services.

The hospital is easy to access from all areas in southern Erie, northwest Chautauqua and western Cattaraugus counties. In particular, emergency service from these areas to Lake Shore is quite critical when time is of the essence. The ability of Emergency Medical Services to obtain emergency room service within minutes of an accident versus a half hour or longer to another site is paramount in a life-saving situation. Many of us drive by the hospital every day without thinking about it until we, or a family member, needs medical help.

As we have heard and read, Lake Shore, along with other hospitals throughout the country, have had financial issues that have been prevalent for several years and now, with a new management team, things may be worked out through a purchase and reorganization of the site. This being said, Lake Shore is still a critical asset to its service area.

Not having this hospital doing what it does every hour of every day is truly a disservice to its patients and employees.

We must find a way of saving Lake Shore Hospital and its satellite sites throughout western New York now and into the future.

Richard Taaffe is a Silver Creek resident.