Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York (LERHSNY) was formed in 2008 in response to New York State's Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the Berger Commission. The initial findings of the Berger Commission defined approaches for Brooks Memorial Hospital and the TLC Health Network that included the elimination of acute care beds at the Lake Shore campus of TLC Health. It soon became clear that the recommendations would not best serve the healthcare needs of the Northern Chautauqua region. Without collaboration between Brooks and TLC (which includes Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving and Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda), access to healthcare services in the region would be seriously compromised.
Both Brooks and TLC began working together with the New York State Department of Health to find a better model, with the end result being the creation of LERHSNY. LERHSNY is an active parent corporation responsible for governing Brooks Memorial Hospital and the TLC Health Network. The system is lead by one CEO and one Board of Trustees. Besides having similar missions, the TLC Health Network and Brooks Memorial Hospital have long traditions in caring for their patients, residents, and clients. Both are committed to protecting local access to primary and emergent care. LERHSNY is able to offer a more extensive range of services by working together rather than independently.
While TLC Health and Brooks Memorial both provide important core acute care services, they also have different, complementary programs. For example, Brooks Memorial provides obstetrics, dialysis, radiation oncology services, and a sleep center, none of which are currently offered by TLC. On the other hand, TLC Health is unique in offering long term care, short term rehab, mental health, chemical dependency, home care, primary care clinics, eye clinics, and child/adult day care.
By utilizing a regional approach, The Lake Erie Regional Health System is able to more efficiently coordinate these complementary services and broaden their reach to communities outside of their respective service areas. Additionally, in today’s healthcare environment, it is important to have enough activity to ensure clinical quality and economic efficiency. This relationship allows Brooks and TLC to take care of economies of scale and better manage their resources, from buying supplies to having sufficient volume to recruit healthcare professionals.