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In the last 18 months, Western New York has weathered the closing of two Buffalo-based banks, which cost the area hundreds of jobs.
At the same time, several financial institutions, law firms, service industries and manufacturers also have pared their payrolls.
And unlike the area's industrial shakeout in the mid-1980s, these changes are also hitting white-collar workers, many of whom face the loss of health benefits along with a loss of salary.
With the unemployment rate for Western New York up to 6.9 percent in November -- that translates into 30,000 people in the Buffalo area alone -- area hospitals say they are seeing an increase in uninsured and underinsured patients and adjusting their policies to help ease the situation.
"We are definitely seeing an impact," says Thomas Honan, executive …