LERHSNY separates from Lake Shore

A decision to give Lake Shore Hospital independence has severed its tie with the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York.

In 2008, LERHSNY was formed as the parent company of both Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving. This created one governing board that made decisions for both hospitals.

Lake Shore’s parent company TLC Health Network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2013 and in November the LERHSNY board decided to create a separate TLC board.

Monday that separation was taken one step further, when the LERHSNY Board was taken out of the equation.

“We are here (Tuesday) because the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York Board of Directors voted to amend its bylaws, its operating certificate and the certificate of TLC, and we are going to secure all the necessary approvals to withdraw as the sole member of the TLC corporation. Therefore, withdrawing as the parent of TLC,” LERHSNY Board President Chris Lanski explained at a press conference.

Lanski continued, this will mean TLC’s independent board of directors will be solely responsible for making decisions like the sale of the hospital.

Brook CEO Gary Rhodes explained this has no financial implications.

“It allows both hospitals, Brooks and TLC to make their own decisions going forward,” he said.

When asked if the members of the LERHSNY board who were appointed to the TLC Board in November will remain, Rhodes said he does not know and the organization of the board in the future will be its own decision.

Lanski said the LERHSNY board has considered this move for a while in order to assist TLC in being able to make its own decisions going forward.

Rhodes explained LERHSNY and Brooks will remain involved in TLC’s bankruptcy proceedings as a creditor.

Media was joined at the press conference by hospital officials as well as County Executive Vince Horrigan and Dunkirk and Fredonia mayors Anthony J. Dolce and Stephen Keefe.

Horrigan said he was not aware of the purpose of the conference, but said he is sure TLC will weigh its options going forward and work toward a sale.

TLC will have its next bankruptcy hearing in Buffalo on June 23. In order for a sale to be approved the court, TLC Board of Directors and the state health department will need to be satisfied.