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Former Lakeside Hospital in Brockport has been busy as Strong West

Photos by Tom Rivers: The former Lakeside Memorial Hospital, which closed in April 2013, now sees about 100,000 patients a year as “Strong West.” The University of Rochester Medical Center opened the site in June 2013 and has gradually been adding services, including an Emergency Department in August 2014.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2016 at 2:12 pm

BROCKPORT – In April 2013, Lakeside Memorial Hospital closed in Brockport. The site was popular for many Orleans County residents, especially those in eastern Orleans.

With the hospital’s closing, ambulance providers in Albion and eastern Orleans faced longer trips into Rochester.

Bryan O'Donovan, administrator of URMC Strong West, talks with the Albion Rotary Club about the former Brockport hospital, where 200 people work serving about 100,000 patients annually.

Bryan O’Donovan, administrator of URMC Strong West, talks with the Albion Rotary Club about the former Brockport hospital, where 200 people work serving about 100,000 patients annually.

The building in Brockport didn’t sit idle for long. The University of Rochester Medical Center opened “Strong West” at the site in June 2013 and added an Emergency Department on Aug. 19, 2014.

A surgical center opened the following month with 14 in-patient beds in the former maternity ward.

Strong West has gradually been adding services – orthopedic, cardiac, urology, primary care – and sees 100,000 patients a year.

“To say Strong West is a success is very mild,” said Bryan O’Donovan, administrator for the site. “We’ve been a success because we’ve stayed in touch with our communities.”

Strong West started with 30 employees working at the Brockport site and now has 200 at the former Lakeside in 16 different programs. (Some of those doctors and staff also work at Strong Memorial in Rochester, O’Donovan said.)

Next month Strong West will expand services into the third floor of the former hospital. That means Strong West will be using nearly the entire site, going from 15,000 square feet when it opened in Brockport to 85,000 square feet.

The site has been modernized with fiber optics and cable, and now all records are electronic.

The medical equipment has been upgraded and matches what doctors use at Strong Memorial in Rochester.

The site has a new MRI for imaging services, which is the top service for use at the site with 28,000 a year. (Lab visits are a close second with 27,500, O’Donovan said.)

The site differs from an Urgent Care site because it has a 24-hour Emergency Department and ambulances can drop off patients at Strong West. (Monroe Ambulance also keeps an ambulance at the site, but O’Donovan said only 6 percent of patients have needed to be transferred.)

The site is unusual because it is one of two Emergency Departments operating in New York State that is not attached to a hospital, he said. O’Donovan sees the that as a trend for the future, with larger hospitals running medical care sites in smaller communities.

Strong Memorial is 18 ½ miles from Brockport. O’Donovan said Strong West has proven to be a great success for the Brockport, western Monroe and eastern Orleans communities, keeping care close by and given patients access “to world-renown doctors from the University of Rochester.”

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