Brooks board talks future

Sources close to Brooks Memorial Hospital recently informed the OBSERVER a possible vote Thursday by the hospital board of directors would decide if ties with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at Hamot Hospital should be severed, but Board Chairman Christopher Lanski says that was not the case.

“Really, it’s just a general planning session,” Lanski said in a phone interview prior to the meeting. “It’s a board strategic planning (meeting); we’re just going to make sure we’re all on the same page and set the direction going forward. This will be a follow-up to our annual strategic planning session. We’ll probably have three or four sessions.”

When asked if the meeting was regarding the relationship between UPMC and Brooks, Lanski said that was “an important part of our strategy, so that’s something we’ll talk about.” He denied the board of directors at the meeting would discuss realigning Brooks with Kaleida Health in Buffalo or St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga, as the OBSERVER was previously told by sources.

Lanski indicated the meeting would be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and that Terry Dunford, director of corporate communication for Brooks, would call the OBSERVER with any “useful” information afterward. Around 8:30 p.m., Dunford told the OBSERVER the meeting was still going on and that he left after waiting two hours to discuss with the board any information to share with the OBSERVER.

“I was not privy to information at the meeting; it was just the board of directors,” he said. “I was thinking I would get something after the meeting, so I waited. Two hours in, the meeting was still going on and I had waited around as long as I could.”

Dunford said he will follow up with the OBSERVER today as to any information and data the board wishes to share about the meeting and/or the hospital in general.

“We want to make sure we’re communicating (with the community), so he’s collecting some facts together and he’ll get back to (the OBSERVER),” Lanski said in the phone interview prior to the meeting.

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