Lockport ambulatory proposal on hold

July 12, 2013 Updated Jul 12, 2013 at 9:36 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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Lockport ambulatory proposal on hold

July 12, 2013 Updated Jul 12, 2013 at 9:36 AM EDT

Plans for a new ambulatory surgery center in Lockport could be on hold, following a decision by state health regulators against the project.

Three surgeons affiliated with Great Lakes Surgical Associates P.C. had applied last year to the state Department of Health to open the city's first multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center.

The project included a $2 million renovation at a long-vacant site at 160 East Ave., where the practice planned to move from existing offices at 15 Elizabeth Drive.

In recommending disapproval of the project, DOH staffers said the applicants had not demonstrated the facility would satisfy the public need criteria required. According to information included with the agenda for a DOH planning meeting set for July 18, the applicants also have not demonstrated the capability to proceed in a financially feasible manner.

The surgeons will have the opportunity to travel to Albany to plead their case before the extension and planning committee of the Public Health and Health Planning Committee, which has the ability to approve or disapprove the project based on DOH staff recommendations and their own research.

Representatives of the practice were not available for comment Thursday.

As previously reported in Business First, the surgeons hope to address a gap services that would allow Niagara County residents to remain in their own community for procedures.

Separately, Eastern Niagara Health System received approval from the state to build its own ambulatory surgery center in Lockport on South Transit Road near Robinson Road. The $5.6 million center is still in development, but plans call for offering orthopedics, plastics and gastroenterology.

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