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BRYLIN PETITIONS FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

BryLin Hospitals today filed for protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, but executives of the region's oldest private psychiatric hospital are optimistic they will be able to keep the business in operation.

Operators of the 46-year-old psychiatric treatment facility said attorneys submitted a Chapter 11 reorganization petition.

BryLin, headquartered at 1263 Delaware Ave., has faced financial problems in recent years, and an attempt to sell the business to a Maryland health care company last year was unsuccessful.

The facility, which treats people with alcoholism, drug addictions and a range of psychiatric problems, runs an 88-bed psychiatric hospital on Delaware Avenue. It also operates an addictions treatment center in Alden and outpatient centers in Buffalo and Williamsville. The company employs about 300 people, including psychiatrists, counselors and nurses.

In a memo to employees last month, company President Eric D. Pleskow warned of layoffs, severe limitations on overtime and cutbacks in the use of registered nurses.

"Over the past few years, BryLin Hospitals have faced increasing financial pressures due to low reimbursement rates, the (federal) Balanced Budget Act, a declining census, and the continued loss of population in Western New York," wrote Pleskow, also the company's chief executive officer.

The facility was founded by Pleskow's father, Leonard Pleskow, considered a local pioneer in the treatment of addictions. Leonard Pleskow died last year at age 77.

A company spokesman told The Buffalo News that the company would release a formal statement sometime today. The spokesman said the company is dealing with its financial problems, and in the long run, should be able to overcome them.

News Staff Reporter Henry L. Davis contributed to this article.

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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