Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Reporting by Mallory Diefenbach []:
WCCH Controversy: Mason’s attorney says details of termination ‘vague, nonsensical and unsupported’

Why was Dr. Paul Mason’s contract terminat-ed? That’s something Dr. Mason and his lawyer would like to know as well. The Daily News talked to Dr. Mason and his lawyer, Robert Boreanaz, Tuesday afternoon. 

I don’t have any details for you,” Boreanaz said. “That’s the ironic part about this. The contract requires written notice, just like every contract you got to provide written notice if you want to claim the contract needs to be broken.”

The termination of Mason’s contract with the Wyoming County Community Health System in January has proven highly controversial. The decision was criticized sharply by members of the public and hospital staff — including several doctors — at a Board of Managers meeting last week.

The hospital, through former Chief Executive Officer Joseph McTernan, tried to justify its decision, Boreanaz said, by throwing as much “crap on the wall, hoping something might stick.” Of the concerns in the written hospital statement, he said, there are zero names, zero dates, zero details of any claimed concerns.

Instead, Boreanaz said, vague, nonsensical and unsupported concerns are raised which are nearly impossible to address because of the lack of details.

“For some god awful reason the (Wyoming County) Board of Supervisors collectively didn’t think it would be important enough to get those details before a decision was made to end a contract with a service provider that has brought so much success to the hospital and its patients — has garnered awards and has incredible patient relationships,” he said. “The board as a whole just dropped the ball here.”

Boreanaz said normally there would be an e-mail from a supervisor to the employee requesting them to address an issue. However, he said, zero documentation or details exist.

“In all my 30 years of representing executives and employees, this is the most vague, unsupported claims I have seen,” he said. “For the life of me I can’t imagine why the Board of Supervisors did not take a deeper dive and look into these things, and talk to people. Dr. Mason was never interviewed. Never asked to respond to some of these things. Never given an opportunity to hear his side.”

The Batavia Daily News reached out to WCCHS Board of Managers President Rich Kosmerl and Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Rebecca Ryan. Kosmerl had no comment. Ryan did not respond prior to press time.

Boreanaz said Dr. Mason and his orthopedic group, Buffalo Bone & Joint Surgery, provided orthopedic services to the hospital and its patients for close to eight years.

The WCCHS and Buffalo Bone & Joint Surgery entered into a contract in 2017. The Board of Supervisors vetted, considered and approved the contract terms. After a couple years, both parties felt it was working out and the board of supervisors again vetted, negotiated and approved an extension of the contract.

In 2019, Buffalo Bone & Joint Surgery made WCCHS $1.5 million in profit, Boneanaz said.

“Which, of course, that $1.5 million of profit in 2019 from the orthopedic group supported other hospital activities,” he said.

In 2020, the hospital saw a change in leadership as Joseph McTernan became the new CEO of WCCHS.

The Wyoming County Board of Supervisiors, which is financially responsible for the county-owned hospital, also saw a change in leadership. Supervisor Jerry Davis of Covington became chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors in January 2020, before stepping down in September. Supervisor Rebecca Ryan of Warsaw — who had been the board’s deputy chairperson — then became the board’s chairwoman.

“Despite the impact to the hospitals by the pandemic, Mason’s group performed a number of surgeries commensurate with the 2019 year. Same level, slightly above actually,” Boreanaz, Dr. Mason’s lawyer, said. “In 2021, the number of surgeries performed by the orthopedic group again even higher than the year before.”

Boneanaz added, not only that but in 2021 Dr. Mason received the Joint Commission’s Advanced Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Certification. It is a very prestigious certification that only a few hospitals in the state receive, he said. After an audit, Dr. Mason received the accreditation in November 2021.

On Feb. 8, 2022, the hospital decided to terminate Mason’s contract. Boreanaz said, “the Board of Supervisors is collectively putting its head in the sand and distancing themselves from the decision,” in complete contrast to the board’s actions when they entered into the contract in 2017 and 2019. However, there is no resolution which terminates the contract in the Feb. 8, 2022 Board of Supervisors minutes.

Boreanaz said Dr. Mason has zero interest in pursuing litigation. His sole interest is to perform orthopedic surgeries at the highest level, and he would love to do it at WCCHS.

“Once the truth gets out, they’ll have to fold their cards. They are just hoping for this to get kicked down the road into a lawsuit, so they can deal with it two years from now,” Dr. Mason said. “I don’t want that, and I don’t think the community wants that. They just want their doctor back, and they want their surgeries.”

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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, 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 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.


"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 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

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