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Lake Shore to continue to seek offers for hospital

Efforts to sell financially ailing Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving will continue, because offers to date have been insufficient, the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York announced Wednesday.

Lake Erie Regional Health System, which announced earlier this month that Lake Shore would close because it faces a $7 million loss for 2013, oversees Lake Shore and its parent organization, TLC Health System.

The health system’s board of directors voted Tuesday night to continue trying to find a buyer for the hospital and expressed interest in saving the hospital.

“We are following up on leads, and there are many,” board Chairman Christopher Lanski said in a statement. “The board has a responsibility to pursue all serious leads and make the decisions that result in the overall best outcome for the patients and employees of Lake Shore.”

The board’s announcement came after a group headed by Anthony Borrello, the owner of TPS Petroleum Products in Silver Creek, made an offer to buy the facility for a reported $11 million to $15 million, with plans to keep the hospital, long-term care and behavioral health units open.

Borrello could not be reached to comment.

The health care center has struggled financially since 2008, when it formed through the merger of Brooks Memorial and TLC Health Network, which also operates Gowanda Urgent Care & Medical Center. Closure would result in the loss of 460 jobs at the hospital, which is one of northern Chautauqua County’s largest employers.

The board reviewed the offer from Borrello and discussed contacts with other interested parties at the meeting, according to Lake Erie Regional officials. There is also interest in Lake Shore from operators of long-term and home-health services, they said.

“We realize there is much concern and worry in the community, which we share,” Lanski said.

However, it is currently an inappropriate time for the board to release more detailed information about efforts to sell the facility, he said.