Sheehan Hospital to Close

March 24, 2012 Updated Mar 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 24, 2012 Updated Mar 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY - After a follow-up meeting Monday to the Saturday announcement, the Sheehan Health Network will be closed. Union representatives met with the facility's financial officers, and went over the closing proposal, which is now a State Department of Health vote approval from becoming a reality.

A release from the hospital reads:

Sheehan Health Network's Board of Directors has made the decision to close the 124 year old medical facility. After an extensive evaluation of Sheehan's financial position and ongoing efforts to preserve the health care facility, the Board of Directors and hospital leadership
concluded that Sheehan is not sustainable for a long-term future.

As one of Buffalo's safety-net medical facilities for the uninsured and under
insured, Sheehan Health Network (formerly Sheehan Memorial Hospital), has a
124-year history of serving the chronically ill and uninsured. However,
many factors throughout the years have negatively impacted this
once-thriving Buffalo hospital. Sheehan has experienced what many urban and
rural medical facilities have experienced in New York State and the across
the country. As an urban health care facility, Sheehan has been in the
midst of continual change due to shifting populations, reduced Medicaid and
Medicare rates and monetary penalties that resulted prior to the hospital's
2006 emergence from bankruptcy.

Sheehan's historical commitment to serving the under insured and uninsured has never been a profitable venture, but in today's changing health care environment, the challenges
have become overwhelming. The majority of patients that Sheehan serve are
Medicaid patients. Many have chronic diseases that present a financial
challenge because of the rising cost of treatment and reduced
reimbursements rates for Medicaid and Medicare.

"This is a very difficult day for Sheehan and the community we serve," states Mary H.
Kargbo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sheehan Health Network. "A
great deal of planning and care has gone into trying to preserve this
institution." "During this transition, we are firmly committed to providing
quality care for our patients and supporting our employees affected by this
decision."

Lavera M. Johnson, Board Chair of Sheehan Health Network
further states that, "today, we are saddened by this decision; however, we
are very proud of the medical care Sheehan has provided to the Buffalo
community throughout its 124 years - from being the city's sole emergency
hospital to transitioning to a comprehensive specialty medical facility
focused on providing patients a network of medical services at one
location." "In addition, we are grateful for the dedication and hard work
that the staff and medical doctors have provided Sheehan and we thank all
of the community supporters that believed that Sheehan was an important
part of the Buffalo's health care community."

The Board's vote will be followed by submission of a closure plan to the New York State Department of Health.

Kargbo adds, "The Hospital's highest priority remains the health and safety of its patients. Physicians and nurses will continue to work with the hospital during the transition."

Patients will receive more information about this announcement.