An open letter to our community:
Over this past year, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York - LERHSNY, comprised of Brooks Memorial Hospital, Lake Shore Health Care Center, and the outpatient sites of TLC Health Network, has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation process to examine the options for a strategic affiliation with a larger health-care entity.
After a thorough analysis of the respective attributes and unique characteristics of each of the various organizations that expressed interest, it gives us great pleasure to announce that a letter of intent has been signed to enter into a strategic affiliation with UPMC Hamot of Erie, Pa.
We recognize that, if LERHSNY is to succeed in this era of health-care reform, we too must change. The survival of rural health-care organizations such as ours is threatened by the constant pressure of decreasing revenues, increasing costs, and complex and unfunded regulatory burdens.
The competition for physicians, patients, and a highly skilled workforce demands substantial ongoing investment in technology, people, and infrastructure that requires us to take a different approach.
Among numerous other benefits, we have determined that UPMC Hamot is in the best position to:
Preserve local governance, control, and authority for decision making.
Support comprehensive physician development and recruitment efforts.
Optimize quality of care and patient satisfaction levels.
Assist and support a comprehensive, strategic/master facility planning process.
Support investment in capital equipment and state-of-the-art technology.
Provide expertise for key clinical and operational areas.
It is important to note that this is not a merger or acquisition. Rather, it is an agreement to work collaboratively. The legal control and responsibility for the organizations and facilities of LERHSNY will remain with our local board of trustees and the president and chief executive officer.
If, over time, a closer type of affiliation or relationship is deemed to have potential benefits, the board will evaluate and consider the merits of such a change at that point.
We are confident the anticipated relationship with UPMC Hamot will avail our community and our organization to resources and expertise that will serve as a stabilizing force in our efforts to ensure a bright, sustainable future for LERHSNY and for the delivery of high quality health care throughout this region.
We look forward to announcing that we have completed the formal affiliation agreement, once all of the details have been finalized. Until then, on behalf of the LERHSNY Board of Trustees, we thank you for your continued support and for the privilege of providing care to so many people and their families throughout this region.
CHRISTOPHER LANSKI, chair, board of trustees
and JONATHAN I. LAWRENCE, MHA, FACHE,
president and chief executive officer
Lake Erie Regional Health System
of New York