Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

April 18, 2014

Local leaders seek more dialog with ENH

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Community leaders are asking Eastern Niagara Hospital officials for a few things, including a second meeting of the sides.

Those leaders include Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey, Newfane Supervisor Timothy R. Horanburg, Wilson Supervisor Joseph A. Jastrzemski, Lockport town Supervisor Marc R. Smith, Somerset Supervisor Daniel M. Engert and Cambria Supervisor Wright Ellis.

The group sent a letter this week to the ENH Board of Directors about the feared closure of Eastern Niagara’s Newfane hospital site.

The letter shared some goals that the supervisors have, Engert said, based on concerns residents have brought to them.

“We felt it was important for us to look for opportunities where we can partner with the hospital and be helpful,” he said.

In addition to another meeting, local elected officials are asking ENH to consider bringing in an independent consultant, creating a detailed plan for continued operation in Newfane and establishing a community advisory committee.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can,” Horanburg said. “Hopefully we can get something going.”

Engert said the hospital hasn’t responded yet, but an employee did call him Thursday morning to acknowledge the board had received the letter. 

ENH officials have been in communication with the supervisor group, Engert said.

“We’re encouraged,” he said. “Things are moving along.”

Eastern Niagara Hospital officials did not return a phone call from the Union-Sun & Journal seeking comment on the discussion Thursday.

ENH spokeswoman Carolyn Moore has repeatedly said that no decisions have been made concerning the Newfane hospital. But she also has said administration has to make adjustments in staffing and look at every expense to help weather financial challenges the hospital may face.

In their letter, the community leaders thanked ENH representatives for a March 25 meeting between the groups. “We stand ready to work with you,” the letter reads.

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