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Lakeside Hospital to close its emergency department

Posted at: 02/14/2013 11:51 AM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 5:39 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

Lakeside Hospital near Brockport is closing its emergency room and inpatient care. When that happens, the closest emergency department will be almost 15 miles from the hospital.  

The hospital board says it has lost about $4 million in the law few years and the inpatient care is operating around 30%. The board says it had to make cuts.

Dr. David Newman, Lakeside Hospital Board Representative, said, “I have worked actively at this hospital for 30 years. It is going to cause a major change in my life.”
Over the last few weeks, Lakeside Health System realized it wasn't making enough to keep running as a hospital. So, it will be closing its inpatient operation and changing the ER into an urgent care clinic. That means if you have an emergency the nearest hospital to the east, Unity Hospital in Greece which is 14 miles away. To the west, you would have to go to Medina Memorial Hospital about 25 miles away. And Strong Hospital, the region's trauma center is about 20 miles away.

News10NBC's Amanda Ciavarri asked, “Some people are going to say that even that 10 minute drive is going to make the difference between life or death. What would you say to those people?”

Jim Cummings, Interim CEO, said, “There is a lot of information that's available on what is called the golden hour, which is the time it takes to get from an injury or illness to an emergency room. I think we are well within that distance. I think as a precaution, as we look to the future, we are going to work with ambulance companies to be sure that if somebody ends up at Lakeside that needs more care than we can provide that they will be quickly moved.”

Nancy Plews, Lakeside Hospital Board Chair, said, “It's about prevention, it's about better health care, it's about healthier people in our geography.”

Ciavarri said, “How does is it beneficial to close an emergency department to the community around here?”

Newman said, “To responded to the question of how does closing the ER benefit the community. it obvious in many ways it does not. The big way it benefits the community is financially.”

News10NBC wanted to know how this change impacts the College at Brockport. They say they're concerned.

“The closing of Lakeside's emergency department has a major impact on the College, particularly in terms of transportation. We are creating a plan to develop new relationships that will best serve the emergency medical needs of our students,” said David Mihalyov, Chief Communications Officer at The College at Brockport.

News10NBC took the college's concerns to the hospital board. The CEO said most of the Brockport students who come to the hospital have injuries that can be handled with their urgent care clinic, they usually don't need an emergency room.

Some of the people who work in these departments will ultimately lose their jobs, but the hospital CEO says they hope to move as many people as possible to different parts of the hospital or get them jobs at U of R or Unity.

The changes will happen over the next few months.