A pair of developments will lead to new beginnings in healthcare services at two regional locations in the coming weeks.
In a press release issued Friday, Brooks-TLC Hospital System Inc. In Dunkirk that it will stop operating primary care services at the Gowanda Urgent Care and Medical Center site on Commercial Street to allow the Chautauqua Centre, which is based in both. Dunkirk and Jamestown, becoming the leading provider. In addition, Brooks-TLC has agreed to sell its Forestville location on Bennett State Road to Chautauqua Center.
“Overall, it’s a good win for multiple communities,” said Ken Morris, president and CEO of Brooks-TLC, regarding the Chautauqua Center’s readiness and ability to take over services at sites in the future.
Morris said Brooks-TLC and Chautauqua Center are currently working to transfer patient care to Tri-County Family Medicine without any disruption to services. While Brooks-TLC is discontinuing primary care operations, the Gowanda Urgent Care location will remain open and will continue to provide a radiology, imaging, laboratory withdrawal resource, and physical therapy services expected to expand.
Existing Gwanda Medical Center patients will receive a call soon with details of the closure as well as information outlining their options to continue as patients at the Chautauqua Tri-County Family Medicine Center on Center Street in Gwanda, or to go elsewhere.
“We have a strong working relationship with the Chautauqua Center,” Morris said. “The collaborative effort between Brooks-TLC and TCC allows for primary care services in the area that TCC will provide in the future, ensuring that the Gowanda community continues to have access to excellent health care close to home. One large primary care practice will be a more sustainable model of care delivery for years to come.”
Morris is also confident in the Center’s ability to take ownership of Forestville. “(This) is one of many steps to improve Brooks-TLC’s financial sustainability and also provides the opportunity to re-establish primary care in this community led by the Chautauqua Center.”
Chautauqua Center acquired Tri-County Family Medicine Associates in Gwanda as part of a recent merger and intends to expand operations. In recent years, Chautauqua Center has built state-of-the-art facilities to provide healthcare in underprivileged areas. As a federally qualified health center, it must meet a strict set of requirements, including providing care on a sliding fee scale and operating under a board of directors that includes patients.
However, Brooks-TLC remains in limbo regarding its finances and construction of a new, limited-sized facility in Fredonia. Although a proposal has been submitted to the state health department for a 15-bed facility that would include a helipad, those plans have yet to be approved.
Brooks-TLC is currently located at 529 Central Ave. In Dunkirk, Brooks-TLC lost more than $55.2 million from 2016 to 2024, according to an October report compiled by a panel of four individuals with backgrounds in healthcare and management. These losses are absorbed by the state of New York.