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Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving will close Jan. 31, leaving 460 employees without jobs and eliminating one of Chautauqua County’s largest employers, hospital officials announced today.

The health care center is an affiliate of Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, which has struggled financially since its formation in 2008 through the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and the TLC Health Network. The TLC Network operated Lake Shore and the Gowanda Urgent Care & Medical Center.

The health care center alone was expected to lose $7 million this year, following losses in the past few years, said Scott Butler, vice president of community relations for Lake Erie Regional.

“This was a difficult decision that needed to be made, and we feel deeply for every community member and employee that this move will negatively impact,” Christopher Lanski, chairman of the health system’s board of directors, said in a statement.

Rumors about the hospital’s status have been circulating for several months. Recently part of the long-term care and nursing staff was laid off.

The immediate plan will be to transfer anyone needing an in-patient stay to Brooks Hospital in Dunkirk.

Chautauqua County Legislator George Borrello, R-Silver Creek, said he has been calling on state officials to come to the aid of the facility.

“Obviously this is not good news,” he said.