Hamot Medical Center is in financial talks with the Shriners' Hospital of Erie.
Shriners' faces possible closure and will find out its fate at the Shriners' National Convention on July 6th through the 8th in Texas. Due to the poor economy, the hospital has been losing significant amounts of money.
However, TV12News has learned that Hamot wants to step in and help keep the hospital operating in the area.
Hamot Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Jim Fiorenzo writes in a statement, "Hamot and the Erie Shriners Hospital for Children have had a long-standing relationship. It is important that Shriners' has a future in this community and we want to help make that happen. We are in continuing negotiations with the Shriners and are encouraged by the conversations we have had with [Erie Shriners' Hospital Administrator] Chuck Walczak and his team."
Save Our Shriners' -- the grassroots group that raises money to keep the hospital open, say they heard the news this week at a banquet honoring the Shriners' Hospital.
"The only thing that really came from that was a comment by Jim Fiorenzo from Hamot, who said, 'We would never try to have Shriners' leave the area.' If, down the road, it came to that, I think they would do whatever we needed them to do to ensure that Shriners' would remain in Erie," Save Our Shriners Co-Founder Don Marinucci says.
Sources say that talks between the two hospitals came naturally, as Hamot owns the land where Shriners' is built. They also share some programming and medical staffing.