Lifetime Health Medical Group will close all three of its Western New York locations at the end of the year. The health centers in Amherst, Hamburg and Buffalo have been used by more than 40,000 people in the past three years.
Jim Healy is one of them. He often visits his doctor at Lifetime Health in Hamburg to keep his high blood pressure in check. “I've been seeing her for 15 to 17 years and she's the best care I've ever had in my life.”
So, you can imagine his frustration now that the office is closing. “Everything was right here and convenient and usually a one stop deal. It blindsided us.”
From anger to sadness, patients we spoke to are handling the news differently. “I cried,” said Evie. “The doctors are excellent.” “It was pretty impersonal and discouraging that a health network would dissolve so quickly,” added patient, Susan Vantine.
Lifetime Health declined to go on camera, but in a letter to all its patients, it points to a doctor shortage in the area as the reason for the closure and offers other possible healthcare providers.
Reporter Ali Touhey: Are they helping you find a new physician?
Which is just as well for patients like Jim Healy. “I don't want to start that over with another doctor that I don't even know if I can trust or not.”
He plans to follow his doctor to her new location wherever that may be.