Some federal funding has been secured as part of the fight to keep a Chautauqua County hospital open. Western New York Congressman Tom Reed says he has secured FEMA dollars for Lake Shore Hospital in Irving.
"It's exciting news working with FEMA, cutting through some red tape here in Washington. It was great to get the commitment of upwards to $5 million for the Lake Shore facility," said Congressman Reed.
Reed telling WBFO News this $5-million in promised Federal Emergency Management Agency funds would assist the financially struggle hospital.
Hospital leaders said the facility would close this year unless a new buyer steps forward. The Lake Shore Health Care Center's operator -- the TLC Health Network -- recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Reed was able to secure FEMA funds based on massive flooding in 2009 in Irving.
"That's one of the frustrating things. This has been an ongoing process and you know, here were are in 2014, there's been significant delays in FEMA, in getting answers and commitments in regards to this disaster relief funds," said Reed.
Reed received assurances that a FEMA application for disaster funds was approved Wednesday.
"Because these funds are really for the long-term capital improvement that are part of the project amendment application. If I'm a buyer -- an investor -- who we hope to attract and make the investment in the community to keep the Lakeshore facility there -- knowing that this money is there from the federal government bodes well for an investor to say 'this is less risky, we have some money to use to keep the hospital grown and vibrant.' That bodes real well," said Reed.
If the hospital closes -- many citizens would have to scramble for care. It is also major employer in the area with about 460-employees.