Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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March 17, 2014

Newfane supervisor condemns ENH management

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — Town Supervisor Timothy R. Horanburg isn't just calling for the rescue of the Newfane hospital, he's calling for a change in Eastern Niagara Hospital management.

In front of a standing room only crowd Monday night at Town Hall, Horanburg read a letter he wrote to Niagara County residents explaining the situation with the Eastern Niagara Hospital's Newfane site. Formerly known as Inter-Community Memorial Hospital, the facility is feared by many to be teetering toward closure.

Eastern Niagara CEO Clare Haar has made some "horrible, irresponsible financial decisions," Horanburg charged.

"There needs to be a change in management and we need it now," he said. "Make the board of directors wake up and do the right thing."

Monday's meeting was designed to get local leaders, fire companies and emergency personnel together to talk about how best to proceed. Horanburg said residents will have a chance to speak at a public meeting to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Miller Hose Volunteer Fire Co. hall, 6161 McKee St.

That didn't stop people from attending the Monday meeting, however. Residents packed a meeting room, some with signs proclaiming support for the hospital. Flyers appeared on some vehicles parked near the Town Hall on Main Street, while some local businesses put out signs in support of saving the hospital.

Newfane native Brad Bixby said social media, particularly Facebook, was vital in spreading the word about the Newfane hospital and Monday's meeting.

"Without it, I don't think we would've gotten half as many here," Bixby said.

Eastern Niagara Hospital officials are saying they have not made a decision to close the Newfane site. The hospital is looking at alternative ways to cut costs, ENH community relations director Carolyn Moore said in a written statement.

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