The emergency department prides itself on the motto, "Get in, get better, get home." The community believes in it, "my husband had a heart attack this summer if it wasn't for Lakeside Hospital waiting at the door when I drove him there, and came out with a wheelchair, wheeled him right straight back, within an hour and a half he was transferred to Rochester General, and they saved his life," explained Sharon Robinson who attended Thursday night's meeting.
SUNY Brockport also depends on the emergency department at Lakeside, "If this solution works, it's as good of a solution we could expect," explained Libby Caruso, the Director of Health and Counseling for SUNY Brockport, "as opposed to completely closing our E.D., it's big for us."
Still, most in the community would like to see the hospital remain fully operational, "If I became neutropenic, being a cancer patient, I don't want to go to the big hospital," explained Jeff Lipson, who attended Thursday night's meeting, "I don't want to be near all those germs, they'll kill me, I want a small hospital that's cleaner."
People who use the hospital are emotional about the changes. They take pride in their community hospital and don't want to go anywhere else, "Honestly I think it's because of the care that they're getting there," explained Laurel Smith who attended Thursday night's meeting, "they're treated like family, not a number."
Cummings says the quality of care at Lakeside Hospital will never change. However, he says the healthcare industry is changing, and community hospitals like Lakeside simply do not have the financial resources to support full operations.
The sate has to approve the hospital's plan to keep its emergency department open and use the rest of the space for an outpatient diagnostic treatment center, elective surgery, and long term care.
Lakeside Hospital employs 380 people. Cummings can't estimate how many jobs will be lost.