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New Hospital Board Holds First Meeting Behind Closed Doors

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – A closed-door session Thursday marked the first official meeting of the state appointed board of Kaleida and the Erie County Medical Center.

The fourteen-member board was appointed by the state health commissioner earlier this month after the hospitals failed to reach a merger agreement. The board consists of representatives from both hospital systems, as well as the University of Buffalo and members off the community.

Despite public support of the organizations and state control of the board, the public and media were barred from the nearly two hour-long meeting. UB President John Simpson was designated as convener and spokesman for the board. He said they were given a legal opinion from the department of health that the meetings should be closed.

That opinion was not shared by Robert Freeman. The head of the state Committee on Open Government said that the board's meetings should be open as long as it is a solely state-controlled entity.

Simpson said they expect to meet once a week, and that for now the meetings will remain closed.

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