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Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Strong makes case for Brockport surgery center

Patti Singer, Staff writer3:21 p.m. EST January 28, 2014

Strong Memorial Hospital's outpatient surgery center in Brockport is projected to perform approximately 3,000 procedures and generate $3.2 million in net income in its third year, according to its application to the state Department of Health.

The outpatient surgery center at the former Lakeside Memorial Hospital is up for review Thursday by a health department committee at a meeting in New York City. Public comment is accepted, and the meeting will be webcast beginning at 10 a.m.

"We're feeling cautiously positive about it," said Betsy Slavinskas, director for ambulatory care at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Strong faces a vote of the full Public Health and Health Planning Council, scheduled for Feb. 13, before it can start renovations.

"If we get through (Thursday), we're moving from cautiously optimistic to moderately optimistic," said Slavinskas, who describes herself as a glass half-full person.

As long as the state sticks to its schedule and no glitches arise, Slavinskas said Strong West Ambulatory Surgery Center could open by late summer. The $1.9 million project is being financed by the hospital, according to Strong's application.

The application includes a balance sheet for Strong Memorial Hospital. As of Dec. 31, 2012, Strong reported net assets of $432 million, an increase of $59 million over 2011.

In justifying the project, Strong said the outpatient surgery center will be convenient for residents and students at The College at Brockport. Strong reported that in 2012, Lakeside performed 3,458 outpatient procedures. The hospital closed in April 2013, and Strong bought the building and some related assets.

If we get through (Thursday), we’re moving from cautiously optimistic to moderately optimistic.

— Betsy Slavinskas

The Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency has recommended approval.

"We are so looking forward to services being delivered there," said Libby Caruso, director of Hazen Center for Integrated Care at The College at Brockport. "The campus and the community go hand in glove. What's good for one is usually good for the other. ... We hope this starts to build and services become vibrant."

The center would be the second of three services planned for the former Lakeside site. Strong opened urgent care in September. It still has plans for a freestanding emergency department. The state recently reviewed guidelines for outpatient services, including EDs that are not physically part of a hospital. In that model, patients who needed to be admitted after emergency treatment would have to be transferred. According to its application, Strong West is 21.4 miles, or 27 minutes from the hospital.

"The state has been sorting out what they want freestanding EDs to look like, because it's a new entity of sorts," Slavinskas said. "In that process, we're defining those things that the state wants in a freestanding emergency department."

Defining the ambulatory surgery center was more straightforward.

According to the application, Strong West Ambulatory Surgery Center would be the only such facility on the west side of Monroe County.

It will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and have three operating rooms and one procedure room, according to the application. Surgical specialties will include orthopedics, ophthalmology, podiatry and general surgery. Colonoscopies and other endoscopic procedures are expected to be performed.

URMC expects vote on Brockport site in February

Rochester Business Journal
January 27, 2014

University of Rochester Medical Center officials expect a state committee to vote on approval of a Brockport ambulatory surgery center in mid-February. 

The medical center’s plan to convert the former hospital to a freestanding emergency department and ambulatory surgery center—hoped by URMC to be in place as soon as last fall—could be six months away, URMC spokeswoman Teri D’Agostino said. 

URMC bought the building after Lakeside hospital shut down last spring, renaming the facility Strong West.  

In a move meant to be a temporary stop on the way to opening a freestanding ED and surgery center, URMC began operating the Brockport facility as an urgent care center in June.

As an ED attached to Strong Memorial, the Brockport facility could handle more complex cases and, if observation beds are attached to it, accommodate some patients for 24- to 48-hour stays.

The delay is disappointing to Brockport and Western Monroe County patients and physicians, who had hoped to see it in place sooner, said James Gaden D.O.

A primary care physician whose single-doctor office is in Orleans County, Gaden is one of some 30 doctors formerly affiliated with Lakeside who has been meeting regularly to assess their own and the area’s health care options since the Brockport hospital’s closure.  

Several members of the group had hoped to secure privileges at the Strong West surgery center. Others view the former West Avenue hospital as a more convenient location to send patients in need of more than urgent care than Unity Hospital in Greece, the closest major hospital to Brockport, or other Rochester hospitals further away, Gaden said.

Last year, URMC officials privately told former Lakeside doctors that the conversion could be approved as early as last September and later amended the projection to January, he said. His own recent attempts to get an update from medical center personnel have been unsuccessful, Gaden added.
The state Department of Health’s ongoing review of the ED and surgery center proposal has taken longer than URMC officials had hoped, D’Agostino said. 

Approval of the conversion is not guaranteed, she said. Medical center officials are hopeful of a positive outcome, but the hoped for ED’s path through state bureaucracy has taken unexpected turns, she added. 

The medical center at first submitted a single certificate of need application asking the department’s Public Health and Health Planning Council, which reviews and says yea or nay to the applications, to approve the surgery center and the freestanding ED in a single vote.

The application bogged down, however, over council members’ questions over what role freestanding EDs should play in the state’s evolving health care landscape, D’Agostino said.
To move the process along, the state asked URMC to split the request into two applications, asking separately for approvals of the surgery center and ED. A vote on the surgery center is slated for mid-February. 

If the council approves the surgery center, there still would be state-regulatory hurdles to jump, D’Agostino said. Further details that would need to be ironed out would take up to six months to resolve, likely delaying the center’s opening until mid-2014.   

The state also has agreed to take the freestanding ED request out of the certificate of need process, instead putting the application into administrative review. Administrative review would end council deliberations and give one of two Department of Health officials the ability to approve or reject the plan, D’Agostino said.
(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

posted 9/3/13

Strong Urgent Care opens in Brockport

BROCKPORT — The first day of business at Strong Urgent Care in Brockport was as much about preparing for future emergencies as it was about immediately treating a sprained ankle or strep throat... to keep reading click here for D&C Link. 

to watch a news video click : WROC video   WHAM video    

URMC Closes On Strong West Facilities! 

Updated: Friday, August 16 2013, 01:24 PM EDT
Brockport, N.Y. - Lakeside Health System finalized its sale of the Lakeside Memorial Hospital facility to the University of Rochester Medical Center Friday. The facility, renamed Strong West, comprises the former Lakeside Memorial Hospital, physician office, primary care practices in LeRoy and Strong Urgent Care in Spencerport. URMC Strong West plans to open a new urgent care center on September 3 on West Avenue. Laboratory and imaging services will be available there. A full-service, free-standing Emergency Department and an ambulatory surgery center at the West Avenue location is also being planned for early 2014.

07/14/2013 11:12 PM

URMC Acquires Lakeside Hospital Monday

Faced with $25 million in debt, Lakeside Health System was forced to shut its hospital down in late April.

With Rochester's biggest employer backing it, Lakeside will re-open in August under new ownership and with a new name.

Crossing over the Erie Canal in Brockport can cost you an extra ten minutes.

It's also one of the many concerns residents had when the only hospital in more than fifteen miles closed in April.

"It's really 'What's in it for the patients?' That's really what we are focusing on," said Michael Kamali, Chair of the Emergency Department at Strong Hospital.

Less than three months since closing its doors, the University of Rochester Medical Center agreed to buy most of the facility.

URMC will officially acquire the newly renamed Strong West on Monday, taking over services at Spencerport urgent care, which won't be a big change for patients.

"Same staff will be there. Same providers. The place will be in the same location," said Kamali.

Lakeside Health System's previous site in Brockport will be re-opened as an urgent care center as early as August. Kamali says URMC plans to open a freestanding emergency department starting in January.

Although it won't include in-patient beds, Strong West will close the gap left by the closure of Lakeside, which in its final year of operation handled about 17,000 emergency visits.

"For us, it's work behind the scenes, but it's really for the patients that we're doing this," said Kamali.

Lakeside will continue to own and operate its Beikirch Care Center. Kamali says there is now a focus on quality out-patient care to decrease the cost of hospital stays.

"A free-standing ER will be new and unique to that area," said Kamali.

URMC to spend $5.4 million to reopen Lakeside

June 25, 2013  Written by Tom Tobin Staff writer, Democrat & Chronicle

University of Rochester Medical Center officials are seeking an expedited state review of last week’s purchase of debt-ridden Lakeside Memorial Hospital in Brockport.

URMC, which last week announced a deal with Lakeside to buy the hospital and assets with plans to open an ambulatory center and free-standing emergency department there, has filed a certificate of need with the state Health Department. It is the first of three such applications in advance of creating the surgery unit and ER at what eventually will be called Strong West. Free-standing means there are no inpatient beds available.

The first application is to convert Lakeside facilities into Strong Memorial Hospital extension clinics. The request includes Lakeside Hospital on West Avenue, Lakeside Urgent Care on Nichols Street and Genesee Family Practice on Lake Road.

“The community is hurting and we’re trying to have a seamless transition,” said Michael Goonan, chief financial officer for URMC. “The state can take months for this kind of review,” URMC chief operating officer Kathleen Parrinello said. “We’d like it to be done in weeks. They’ve been very accommodating thus far.”

Last week, URMC CEO Dr. Brad Berk said one of the goals is to have urgent care service available in Brockport by the time students at The College at Brockport return in August. The hospital closed at the end of April.

At the time of the announced purchase, Berk and Lakeside officials declined to give a purchase price. The filing for the extension clinics includes an overall cost of $5.4 million. Goonan said that amount includes the cost of buying the hospital as well as the price of renovations needed to bring in new imaging and diagnostic equipment and to upgrade spaces at the hospital. “The final purchase cost has not yet been resolved, and neither has the price of renovation,” Goonan said.

Goonan said URMC’s purchase price will be used by Lakeside to retire its debt, though according to Lakeside’s 2011 tax filing, overall debt for the health system exceeds $23 million. Goonan said UR will assume no additional liability beyond the $5.4 million.

Parrinello said the deal includes all the electronic patient records held by Lakeside. She and Goonan said that Lakeside will notify individual patients of the transfer to URMC control. “If some do not want their records transferred, they will have that option,” Parrinello said.

Lakeside, which for decades served western Monroe County and eastern Orleans County, struggled for years as a small, 61-bed hospital on the outskirts of a community with much larger hospital systems, including Unity, Rochester General and URMC, the biggest in the Rochester region.

Parrinello said certificates of need for the free-standing ER and the ambulatory surgery center would be filed toward the end of the year. She said the process might include a local review by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.

Goonan said the transaction with Lakeside occurred outside the contracts with patients and insurers, and that the expense will not filter down to treatment costs at UR or Lakeside.

Lakeside Reborn as URMC’s Strong West

Lakeside Board Sells Assets to URMC, Outpatient Services Restored

June 18, 2013

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 CEOBradford 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.
Changes Ahead

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. 

Lakeside Health System Moves to Redefine Its Future

Emphasis Shifts toward Physician Services, Elective Surgery, and Long Term Care 


The Lakeside Health System Board and Acting CEO James Cummings are working on a plan to transform the health system from an acute care hospital and emergency department to an outpatient diagnostic and treatment center. The goal is to restore Lakeside's financial stability so that it can meet the community's health care needs for the long term.

To read more, click here

University of Rochester Medical Center collaborates on programs with, among others, Lakeside Memorial in Brockport.
Article from Democrat and Chronicle January 24, 2013
Written by Patti Singer Staff writer 

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