Dr. Mason's departure worries former WCCHS CEO Donald Eichenauer
Today's Part 3-President Rich Kosmerl's Response
Parts 1 and 2 are in yesterday's (Monday's) article with the same name.
By MATT SURTEL, email@example.com
President Rich Kosmerl of the WCCHS Board of managers said he understands people’s concerns and describes the situation as unfortunate. He’s prohibited by state and federal law from discussing the termination of Mason’s contract but said the farewell letter contains inaccuracies.
“The patient issues that have been brought up are important to us,” Kosmerl said. “He did good surgeries — there’s no problem there, as patients are satisfied.”
Kosmerl said it’s inaccurate that Eichenauer’s service ended after McTernan — who died of a sudden illness last month — came aboard. He said Eichenauer continued in his role as a contractor for another 18 months, with the invoices submitted and showing his service.
“He did a good job during that time, and he was a consultant to the board,” Kosmerl said. “McTernan did use him a few times for mentoring and history.” Mason and Eichenauer attended the Board of Managers meeting regularly, whether in-person or via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Kosmerl is similarly prevented from discussing the departures of specific medical staff. Many of the nurses who have left the hospital did so due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, he said, with the possibility others decided to pursue more-lucrative jobs as traveling nurses, as demand and compensation for those jobs increase.
In general terms, hospitals do experience turnover.
The WCCHS has a plan for its orthopedics services, Kosmerl said. A contractor surgeon has been brought on board for spinal surgery, and another will join to provide knee and hip surgery in March.
“That’s not going to satisfy a lot of people who are scheduled for surgery, because they started with Dr. Mason and most people would like to stay with their doctor, and that’s fine,” Kosmerl said. “But that’s not possible in our place, and if they’re not satisfied with those folks, we have been suggesting to them three surgeons in Buffalo that are very good surgeons, and we’ll help them move their medical records to those surgeons if they wish to pursue that route.” To address the longer term, the WCCHS is negotiating with other surgeons and practices to bring a permanent surgeon into the area again to refill the ortho suite.
“There are a lot of rumors floating that O.R. is closing ... and that’s not true,” he said. “We’re going to rebuild the orthopedic clinic, we’re going to rebuild the operating rooms eventually.”
Funding is one of the key challenges at the moment, Kosmerl said. The WCCHS is looking at an $8 to $12 million price tag for its surgical center updates when — like almost every other hospital statewide — it has been hit hard financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital’s reserves are expended, largely due to the pandemic, he said. The WCCHS has applied for funding to upgrade its surgical center, and a fundraising campaign is likely.
But the pressures are a reality and continue.
The WCCHS also lost $10 million in state and federal funding sources during 2020, with the CARES act and FEMA making up only $5 million of that total, Kosmerl said. The pandemic-related elective surgery bans also hurt the hospital, and people weren’t visiting the Emergency Department as often, cutting back yet another revenue source.
Emergency Department visits were about 20 percent down during 2020 and have recovered to about 95 percent of what they were, but they’re still down.
“COVID in 2020 and 2021 was pretty hard on the pocketbook,” Kosmerl said. “Per year, just for PPE and test supplies was over $2 million. That continues. It’s beginning to be reduced a little bit, but it still continues pretty heavily.
“You can see the losses that are published in the Buffalo and Rochester hospitals and we’re no different from them,” he continued. “Scale-wise maybe, but not in terms of the impact on the hospitals. COVID has taken a lot of stuff out.”
The WCCHS is rebuilding and restaffing the orthopedic unit, and it will continue in the future.
“Obviously, the most important thing is we do feel bad about the impact it has on patients,” he said. “It’s unfortunate and we understand the affect it has on them, and we want to minimize it as quickly as we can.”
SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE (SLE) - Registration now Open for this August 4-6, 2022's SLE. See: SilverLakeExperience.org
W. PETE MAIRS
Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.
Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.
GERALD C. SAHRLE
Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.
Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.
KATHARINE E. PRACZKAJLO ("Kathy P.")
"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.
BRENDA J. PADDOCK
Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”
Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.
Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.
Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.
Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.
Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.
Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.
A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit www.eatonwatsonfuneralhome.com.
AUGUST 4-7, 2022
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Our vision is to bring art to people, and bring people to the arts. The Arts Council for Wyoming County has been inspiring residents and visitors in and around Wyoming County, New York for more than four decades. Becoming a member of the Arts Council for Wyoming County gives you an open invitation to experience art in many ways. Be enriched, enlightened, and elevated. Learn to express yourself, explore ideas, experiment. Take time to admire, aspire, respond, and be renewed. Find ways to grow. Join Today! Silver Lake thanks the ACWC, the NYS Legislature, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Art Funds which make many of the Silver Lake programs possible.