Louis Pelletter, Silver Creek Historian and Hanover Deputy Supervisor, shared his passionate feelings about Lakeshore Hospital’s closing at the Silver Creek board meeting on Monday.
The historian began with saying how families in the community built the hospital to be there for the community, not using grants, but their own money, borrowed money and donated money. “I had to go down (to the closing of the emergency room on Sunday) because our families were all involved in that.”
Pelletter insists on getting the building back that the community built long ago. His biggest fear seems to be that the building will never be used as a hospital again. “In my opinion, I think they’re going to let them rot,” said Pelletter referring to the hospital and the Forestville building that were once used for medical purposes for the community.
Trying to get into contact with as many officials as possible, Pelletter tried to contact Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, with no luck so far. He’s reached out to many other officials in the state as well, trying to get a new medical care system into the building that the area is so dependent on.
“What exactly are we going to do for volunteers?” asked Pelletter, a rhetorical question to the Silver Creek board. “We’re going to take them to Mercy, ECMC, Brooks, WCA, who is going to do all of this volunteering? … Who do you think is going to volunteer for 5-6 hours?”
According to Marv Cummings, trustee on Silver Creek’s village board, to take a person to ECMC, it would take five to six hours just to pick the patient up, drop them off, then come back home. “Now we’re looking at a price tag,” said Pelletter.
Regarding the hospital’s closing again, Pelletter brought up the debt that Lakeshore officials said that the hospital was in. According to Pelletter, he said that hospital officials reported $14-15 million worth of debt at a meeting a couple weeks ago. Then Pelletter heard an official from the state say that they reimbursed the hospital for all of the debt. The hospital came back with a statement saying that yes, they were reimbursed, but they were “projecting losses.”
Sandra Lindstrom, newly elected trustee, made a comment about the hospital as well. “I thought about this a lot, but I think the loss of this hospital goes far beyond the medical care,” said Lindstrom. “In my opinion, it represents a loss of identity and a loss of community.”
The Silver Creek Fire Chief also had a comment to make about the closing of the hospital, which closed out the meeting on Monday. “We’re going to keep doing the job that we all do and love for the community,”said the chief. “But we will need help, so if anybody has free time, by all means we will take it.”
Published in the Observer