Paint Night to Benefit Patients at Both Campuses

Explore your creativity at Brooks’ most popular fun-raising event. Last year’s fun-filled paint night, facilitated by Anne Davis, raised over $2200 for medical equipment and technology at the Brooks campus.  This year, we’ve joined forces with our partners at TLC to host the event one night only!  Tickets are selling quickly for the August 2nd get-together at  St. Columbans on the Lake, Silver Creek.  Reserve your spot today by calling 363-3313 or email


Brooks-TLC Clinics Achieve NCQA PCMH Level 3 Recognition

Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. has announced its Gowanda Medical Center and Forestville Primary Care Center have each achieved recognition as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

PCMH is a model of care in which providers build better relationships between patients and their clinical care teams. It emphasizes use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement.

Recognition as a Level 3 PCMH demonstrates that the clinics have scored the highest grades in six standards set by the NCQA, including patient-centered access, team-based care; population health management, care management and support; care coordination and care transitions; performance measurement and quality improvement.

“PCMH recognition is an important accomplishment and underscores our commitment to providing the very best care to our patients,” said Ken Morris, vice president of operations at Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. “I commend our physicians, advanced level providers and the entire staff for their exceptional work in providing safe, quality patient care.”

The National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) seal is a widely recognized symbol of healthcare quality. Accredited providers face a rigorous set of more than 60 standards and must report on their performance in more than 40 areas in order to earn NCQA’s seal of approval. For consumers and employers, the seal is a reliable indicator that an organization is well-managed and delivers high quality care and service.

NCQA recognition programs empower employers, health plans, patients and consumers to make informed heath care decisions based on quality. Participation in a NCQA recognition program demonstrates that the practice or clinician values quality health care delivery and the latest clinical protocols to ensure that patients receive the best care at the right time.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home program reflects the input of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and others. It was developed to assess whether clinician practices are functioning as medical homes and recognize them for these efforts.


 Gowanda Medical Center team:  (L to R) Tracy Stevens, Director of Primary Care Services; Susan Caldwell, LPN; Cheryl Matern, Receptionist; Nancy Lance, Physician Assistant; Ken Morris, Brooks-TLC VP Operations.  Missing from photo Danielle Alimonti, LPN and David Hallasey, MD.

Forestville Primary Care Center team: (L to R) Joel Yoviene, MD; Tracy Stevens, Director of Primary Care Services Andrea Kickbush, LPN; Michele Matyjakowski, LPN; Jackie Cortright, Receptionist; Ken Morris, Brooks-TLC VP Operations; Ronald Greco, MD.  Missing from photo David Hallasey, MD.

Brooks and TLC Announce Partnership with Unyts

Beginning July 1, 2018 Unyts, WNY’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center, will become the primary provider of blood products for Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., which includes Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health.

Unyts “Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. is pleased to partner with Unyts’ Community Blood Service for all of our blood product needs,” said Mary LaRowe, president and CEO of Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc.  “Unyts has been servicing Western New York for more than 30 years through organ, eye and tissue donation, and blood services, enhancing lives across Western New York.

LaRowe said. “Blood is a large expense for hospitals. Through Unyts’ Community Blood Service, both new and existing blood donors have an opportunity to help local patients at our Brooks and TLC campuses, and the Gift of Life they are providing through blood products will help to save our organization much needed dollars. “All the blood collected by Unyts stays in Western New York for local patients in need,” she said.

Unyts will be holding three open-to-the-public blood drives in Dunkirk and Irving in June and July. To make an appointment please call 716.512.7940 or visit and click on Donate Blood.

Friday, June 29th 9am-2pm at Brooks Memorial Hospital, Dunkirk

Friday, July 13th from 9am-2pm at TLC Health – Lake Shore Health Center, Irving

Tuesday, July 31st from 9am-2pm at Cattaraugus Reservation Volunteer Fire Dept.

If you are interested in hosting a blood drive for Unyts in your community or becoming a volunteer, please contact Amanda Farrell at 716.566.3925.



Brooks-TLC Golf Tournament

Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. has announced open registration for its Better Together golf tournament fundraiser scheduled for Friday, August 24, 2018 at scenic Shorewood Country Club in Dunkirk.

Hole-in-one prizes are a 2018 GMC Terrain courtesy of Larry Spacc GMC @ hole #4 and $500 cash from Western Division Federal Credit Union @ hole #15.

Registration fees are only $125 per person which includes 18 holes of golf, cart for every 2 players, unlimited use of driving range for 2 hours (one of which will be staffed by Shorewood’s PGA Professional, Rich Conwell, offering complimentary driving range instruction and tips), lunch, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, commemorative photo of your foursome, and swag bag filled with tournament hat, ball and other giveaways. Price includes cocktail hour with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.  Special pricing for Shorewood cart members is $65 pp and $85 for non-cart members.

Format is a 4-person scramble with shotgun start at 12 noon and driving range open at 10 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m., cocktail hour at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 5:45 p.m. Basket raffle and silent auction prizes are available.

Plenty of sponsorship levels are still available. Join the ranks of these generous sponsors currently on board –  Kaleida Health, Nash Pharmacies Clark Patterson Lee, Trusted Nursing Solutions, Turner Construction, UBMD Emergency Medicine, Premier Anesthesia, PepsiCo, Sleep Medicine Centers of WNY and UNYTS.

Tournament proceeds will be used to raise the vital, unrestricted dollars needed to avail patients at both campuses with state-of-the art medical equipment and technology in a comfortable and therapeutic environment.

Registration and/or sponsorship information can be found at or by contacting Sheila Walier, Brooks-TLC Community Relations at 716-363-3313 or

Inpatient Chemical Dependency Unit NOW OPEN

Designed with the principles of patient-centeredness in mind, the brand new 20-bed facility features private rooms with attached half baths for every patient, extra wide corridors, a large common space/family area, and workout room. Programming includes medication assisted treatment, trauma informed care, individualized treatment planning, and provider collaboration. Transportation is available.   Admissions information is available by calling 951-7948.




Inpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment Coming in June

National Nurses Week – May 6-12, 2018

Happy National Nurses Week to all our nurses who INSPIRE, INNOVATE AND INFLUENCE.  Thank you for everything you do for patients in our community.

Patient Access Week, April 1 – 7, 2018

Today more than ever, in the face of a quickly changing health care environment, providing an exceptional patient experience is now becoming the standard of care.

This week, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc . recognizes patient access professionals for their contribution to the healthcare access continuum by celebrating Patient Access Week, April 1 – 7, 2018.

“The first interaction patients have with the hospital most often begins with the Patient Access department, says Brooks-TLC director of Patient Access, Rose Taddio. She adds, “First impressions can set the tone for an individual’s entire hospital experience.”

Brooks and TLC look for positive representatives with a friendly demeanor when hiring. “The access team has goals centered on courtesy, communication, and helpfulness,” Taddio noted. “When people aren’t feeling well we need to be fast, accurate and, friendly. Our job is to ease their concerns in a caring and efficient manner,” she adds.

In an average day, the Patient Access department handles a variety of requests from patients, visitors, physicians, nurses and other hospital staff. Access staff schedule and greet patients upon arrival and also help coordinate patient transfers. Access department staff must also be familiar with the procedures of various insurance companies. It’s a fast-paced job that requires a keen ability to multitask.

As we celebrate National Patient Access Week, we acknowledge our special goodwill ambassadors in the Access department for setting into motion the standard of care we aspire to achieve.

Brooks-TLC merger complete

Following the approval of by the New York State Department of Health through the Certificate of Need Process, and filings with the New York State Attorney General and the New York Secretary of State, the formal merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital, Dunkirk, NY, and TLC Health Network, Irving, NY, has been finalized.  The new merged organization will be known as Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc.

“We are pleased to report that the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network is complete,” said Christopher Lanski, Board Chair of Brooks Memorial Hospital.  Lanski will serve as Board Chair of the new organization.  “The merger is another step in our transition to preserve and enhance access to quality healthcare service for Southern Erie and Chautauqua Counties,” he said.

James Wild, MD, Board Chair of TLC Health Network said “As volunteer board members, our primary obligation is to ensure that the community has access to health care services.  We have supported the merger and the creation of the Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., in order to protect our mission of care to the region and the patients we have pledged to serve.”

Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network have been operating under a management agreement with Kaleida Health, Buffalo, NY, to oversee operations under a unified single board of directors and a unified leadership and management team.

“The recent emergence of TLC from bankruptcy was a critical event in clearing the way for Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network to take the next step – the merger of the two hospitals,” said Mary LaRowe, President and CEO of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network.

LaRowe will serve as President and CEO of the Brooks-TLC Hospital System.  She has been serving as president and CEO of Brooks Memorial and TLC Health Network under a management agreement between the hospitals and Kaleida Health.

The current management team at Brooks and TLC will join LaRowe in leading the new organization including: Jodi Witherell, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Vice President of Quality; Wendy L. Luce, Vice President of Behavioral Health and Chemical Dependency Services: and Jeff Morgan, Vice President of Finance.  The search for a new Vice President for Operations will soon be finalized.

“With the merger now complete, the Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. will now move forward in the process of formally affiliating with Kaleida Health,” LaRowe said.

“These are extremely challenging times for rural hospitals,” LaRowe explained. “Sadly, across the nation we are seeing more and more rural hospitals close due to inability to cope with the impact of reduced reimbursement for services. This will not be the case for Southern Erie and Chautauqua Counties.  We are excited about the future of healthcare in our region,” LaRowe added.

She explained that both the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network and the affiliation with Kaleida Health are a response to the rapidly changing healthcare environment.  “The merger will better position us for success in meeting the healthcare needs of our communities for years to come,” she said.

“It is incumbent on those entrusted with operating our hospitals that we do so smartly, utilizing resources wisely to deliver care.  We are fortunate to have the support of a wonderful staff and great physician partners in achieving success in meeting our mission of service,” LaRowe said.

“Within the context of the merger, the Kaleida Health affiliation,  a new hospital to replace Brooks Memorial Hospital and the future development of the TLC campus as a center of excellence for ambulatory services, we are extremely optimistic for the future of patient care in Southern Erie and Chautauqua Counties under the Brooks -TLC Hospital System.”

“As always, we thank the patients we serve and the community for their support of our efforts,” she said.

Fall into a good night’s sleep

Dare we say it? Fall is almost behind us (sigh) and winter is fast approaching. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Before you know it, it’ll be dark when you get up in the morning and dark again before you sit down for dinner. Knowing what’s coming doesn’t make it easier to deal with, though — the seasonal change can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.

Here, we’ll break it all down and offer some tips you can use to get a good night’s sleep.

How seasonal changes affect sleep

Research into exactly why or how weather and seasons affect rest is still in the early stages. But we do know that the human body is sensitive to changes in light, temperature, humidity, precipitation, and atmospheric pressure.

Take sunshine, for instance. It’s one of the more noticeable seasonal changes.

Shorter days mean less sunlight, right? Believe it or not, that lack of sunlight can translate to problems falling asleep. When you’re exposed to sunshine, your body creates Vitamin D, which does a lot of important things for your body.

As far as sleep is concerned, Vitamin D is involved in the production of serotonin, a chemical our bodies use to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Low levels of serotonin disrupt that cycle. And that throws off your body’s signal to generate melatonin, the chemical that puts you to sleep and makes you wake up.

10 tips for great sleep

There are several things you can do to outsmart the season and its impact on your body. Here are our top 10 tips to get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Stock up on sunshine. Make it a point to get some sunshine each day — even if it’s only working near a window for a little while.
  2. Cool it. Temperature plays an important role in the onset of your sleep cycle. To help these processes along, keep your bedroom between 60 and 70 degrees.
  3. Avoid napping. If you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short power naps will help.
  4. Go easy on the food. A heavy meal before bed will make it harder to fall asleep — and digestive issues like heartburn, indigestion, and nausea won’t help. If you feel that telltale rumble before bed, grab a small, sensible snack to tide you over until breakfast.
  5. Avoid caffeine. When late fall rolls around, few things are better than curling up with a nice, hot mug of tea. But be careful: black tea contains about half as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Drink decaf or turn to herbal, white, or green teas so you won’t end up wired instead of tired.
  6. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is known to cause or worsen the symptoms of conditions like sleep apnea and snoring. It also disrupts your body’s production of melatonin.
  7. Stick to a schedule. It’s a safe bet that, during the week, you get up and go to sleep at roughly the same times every day. Sticking with that schedule — yes, even on the weekends, lazy bones — can make it easier for your body to trigger its sleep and wake cycles.
  8. Mellow your pre-sleep routine. A relaxing pre-sleep routine is a great way to prepare your body for an evening’s slumber. Whatever your routine, be sure to avoid stressful, stimulating activities.
  9. You knew this was coming, right? Stay active during the fall and winter with a vigorous exercise routine. It’ll help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  10. Cut back on the screen time. Study after study suggests that electronic devices disrupt our sleep schedules. Ditch those devices — yes, even the e-ink readers that don’t emit blue light — at least an hour before bed.

Still learning about sleep

Research into exactly why or how weather and seasons affect rest is still in its early stages. But if you’ve tried everything on our list — or if you’re technically getting enough sleep but don’t wake up feeling rested — it might be that you’re suffering from some underlying condition that’s affecting your sleep. And that means it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Luckily, you and your doctor can choose from an array of organizations whose sole purpose is to help you get a good night’s sleep, including the Sleep Medicine Centers of Western New York, the Sleep Center at the DENT Neurologic Institute, and many others. With the right treatment plan in place, you’ll be counting sheep in no time.