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Group of physicians hope to partner with developer in reviving closed hospital

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Buffalo: Group of physicians hope to partner with developer in reviving closed hospital
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A community hospital dedicated to serving the poor that was closed in June is set to go on the auction block. Sheehan Hospital was shuttered after going bankrupt. Now, a development group is looking into buying the hospital and reopening with a physicians' group set to take over it's new medical mission. YNN's Kevin Jolly has more on plans to revive the community hospital.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's been closed for more than six months. Now, Sheehan Health could get a new lease on life.

Thursday, the 145,000 square foot facility and its eight acre site on Michigan Avenue will go on the auction block.

One group has already gone on record as being interested in the facility. McGuire Development is believed to be partnering with UNYTS, or Upstate New York Transplant Services, to acquire the property. Another group is also on board.

"We created G-BUAHN, which is the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network. It's made up of eight physicians, so we've been actually having discussions with McGuire Group also," said Dr. Raul Vasquez.

Dr. Vasquez, who founded the Urban Family Practice on Niagara Street, tried to rally a physicians group to take over the facility but says the group wasn't established enough to get the necessary support to purchase the facility. Vasquez decided partnering with McGuire would be the best way for the group to carry out its mission.

"We're looking to acquire anywhere from 40- to 70,000 square feet of the 140,000 square foot facility. There's other players who are at the table but we want to be more of the medical piece in that ideology," said Vasquez.

Ralph Hernandez and Momba Chia, who sit on the board of G-BUAHN, believe the facility has a better chance of surviving under a new physician-driven model.

"These physicians, eight partners within G-BUAHN, made a solid commitment to each other and to the community as a whole to make sure Sheehan survives as an entity as a building for quality health care," said Hernandez.

"This time around, it’s going to be very efficient. Like the doctor said, we're going to run it as a business not as a per se non-for-profit"

Sheehan filed for bankruptcy in August. According to court records, the hospital has assets of $6.3 million and liabilities of $5.5 million.

Bidding for the facility is expected to begin at two million dollars. The sale could help Sheehan pay off its creditors and clear the way for a new beginning for the one time important health care provider.

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