Lakeside Reborn as URMC's Strong West
Less than two months after Lakeside Health System officially closed its hospital to patients, the Lakeside Board today announced plans to sell most of the system’s assets to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). The deal breathes new life into the West Avenue campus in Brockport, reestablishing urgent care and outpatient services to support Brockport-area physicians and patients.
Following discussions with the Lakeside Board and its bank, URMC has agreed to purchase the land that’s home to portions of Lakeside’s main campus at 156 West Avenue. Subject to the completion of due diligence and agreement on final contract terms, the purchase includes a number of Lakeside assets including:
· the hospital itself which will soon house urgent care, orthopaedic surgeons, urologists and a host of other potential specialists along with lab, radiology, and a pharmacy to support patients cared for on the campus,
· the Physician Office Building in which current tenants will be welcome to remain,
· Lakeside’s Urgent Care Center in Spencerport, and
· the primary care practices of Vladimir Gaspar, M.D., and Didem Miraloglu, M.D., located in LeRoy and the Lakeside Physician Office Building, respectively. Both Gaspar and Miraloglu will join the URMC faculty.
“This is an exciting solution for the greater Brockport community and for Lakeside Health System,” said Nancy Plews, Board Chair of Lakeside Health System. “With the closure of Lakeside Memorial Hospital it became critically important to the Lakeside Board to use the Lakeside campus in a meaningful way to provide health care services to Western Monroe, Eastern Orleans and Genesee County citizens. This is an excellent culmination of the collaborative efforts in recent years between the Lakeside Health System and the University of Rochester Medical Center to assure a significant health care presence in Brockport.”
Lakeside had earlier this year proposed a plan to the DOH to transition from an inpatient hospital into a free-standing Emergency Department, an outpatient care center, professional office building, and nursing home. Unfortunately, the State was unable to provide a grant needed to assist with the transition costs inherent in the conversion to an outpatient treatment center. By selling its assets to URMC, Lakeside’s buildings remain functional and it satisfies the conditions of its plan for closing.
“Faced with very difficult challenges, the Lakeside board has consistently acted to preserve as many services as possible for Brockport citizens,” said URMC CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. “Their decision to sell these assets to URMC clears the way for critically needed health care services to continue.”
Berk’s enthusiasm is echoed by community leaders.
“I commend Lakeside board members for working with the University of Rochester Medical Center to develop a creative, courageous solution for our community,” said Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley. “This move ensures that health care services will be available when our residents need them. This is the best possible outcome and I look forward to helping ensure support from New York State.”
"I am extremely grateful and thank the University of Rochester for their purchase of Lakeside Hospital and their commitment to the residents of the Greater Rochester Area," said Senator George D. Maziarz. "Many individuals rely on the hospital for emergency care and treatment, and it was of great concern to myself and the residents in my District that they can get service. The urgent care facility and subsequent Emergency Department will provide a much-needed service to the community that was recently cut short. I will do all that I can in Albany to assist the University of Rochester to open its facilities as soon as they are able."
“I applaud the Lakeside Board and URMC in coming together and creating a plan that invests in and supports the Brockport community,” said John R. Halstead, Ph.D., president of the College at Brockport, State of New York. “Having access to the necessary emergency and medical facilities is critical for our students and staff, and Strong West will be a great asset for the College and the region.
At the newly renamed URMC’s Strong West, the Medical Center plans to establish an urgent care center as early as August while it eventually pursues DOH approval for a full-service, freestanding Emergency Department. In the coming weeks, URMC will reestablish laboratory and imaging services, programs that will support Brockport-area physicians and the urgent care center. Although it will not include any inpatient beds, Strong West will help close the gap left by the closure of Lakeside which, its final year of operation, handled 17,000 emergency visits.
Lakeside will continue to own and operate its Beikirch Care Center, providing the same high quality care for which they have been historically known.
URMC will also take ownership of Lakeside’s medical records and images.
“Tomorrow’s health care is all about supporting physicians in caring for patients outside of hospitals and preventing the need for hospital stays,” Berk said. “So, while we do not foresee reopening inpatient beds, we are looking to establish progressive outpatient services that make it easier for Brockport residents to receive routine diagnostic and treatment services.”
According to Berk, the Medical Center wants to continue working with local physicians to determine other specialties that may be needed.