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Corporate Governance

Operations and Accomplishments

I-1.) Operations and Accomplishments (in reverse chronological order; December 2009 - January 2009)

Public Authorities Law §3642(1); Public Authorities Law §2800; and the Sale Purchase and Operation Agreement, §6.8

Sharon L. Hanson reelected Chair of ECMC Corporation Board

On February 2, 2010, the Erie County Medical Center Corporation's (ECMCC) board of directors reelected Sharon L. Hanson, a 13-year board member, to a second consecutive term as chair. 

By their vote, the board's decision confirmed that Ms. Hanson, manager of government affairs for Time Warner Cable in Buffalo, is successfully guiding the medical center's board/corporation. 

Ms. Hanson served on the ECMCC board of directors and the former board of managers since 1996.  During that time, Ms. Hanson chaired the board's Human Resources, Building and Grounds, and Performance Improvement committees; she also served on the Executive, Executive Compensation and Governance committees.  Ms. Hanson is also a member of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board of Directors. 

Other board officers reelected for 2010, include: vice-presidents Kevin Cichocki D.C., CEO of Palladium Health Care, and Kevin Hogan, a partner at Phillips, Lytle; Michael A. Seaman, City of Buffalo Director of Treasury and Collections, as treasurer; Bethesda World Harvest International Church Bishop Michael A. Badger, as secretary; ECMCC Chief Financial Officer Michael J. Sammarco, as assistant treasurer; and Patricia M. Grasha as assistant secretary. 

Ms. Hanson served in a variety of leadership positions in Buffalo and Erie County.  She was special projects coordinator at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for the Airport Improvement Project, which led to the new Greater Buffalo Niagara International Airport. 

Ms. Hanson also provided leadership at Resource Planning Associates as the project director for the Buffalo Minority Business Development Center, where she helped several minority and women business enterprises get started. 

Ms. Hanson is a graduate of Canisius College with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in English and Political Science.  She is also a graduate of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 1997 and the Dale Carnegie Classic Course.  She serves on the boards of directors/trustees of Trocaire College and the Evergreen Association.  Ms. Hanson is active in the community as a member of the NAACP, Women in Cable, and the Public Relations Society of America. 

Ms. Hanson received the NAACP 2009 Rufus Frasier Human Relations Award.  She was recognized by the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York's with a community service/volunteerism award.  She also received honors from the ECMC Lifeline Foundation; Black Achievers in Industry; Everywoman Opportunity Center; YWCA Leader Luncheon; as Calvary Outstanding Woman of the Year; the YWCA Board of Directors; Minority Business Development Center; and Bethesda Full Gospel Church. 

Ms. Hanson has been recognized by VH1-Save the Music and the African American Women Community Builders of Western New York as Uncrowned Queen.  A lifelong Buffalo resident, she is a member of the Chapel at CrossPoint and a mother and grandmother. 

Buffalo NAACP 2009 Rufus Frasier Human Relations Award presented to ECMC Board Chair

Sharon L. Hanson

On Sunday, June 14, 2009, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held their 43rd Annual Medgar Evers Awards Dinner, where ECMC Corporation Board of Directors Chair Sharon L. Hanson received the Buffalo NAACP 2009 Rufus Frasier Human Relations Award

Ms. Hanson is Government Relations Manager at Time Warner Cable.

Ms. Hanson has volunteered in the Western New York Community for various organizations for more than 25 years.  She credits her interest and first community involvement to the late William (Bill) L. Gaiter.  She joined with Mr. Gaiter and a host of other community leaders to found one of the first local affirmative action organizations in Buffalo. Ms. Hanson was drafted from that initiative to serve with a panel of prominent women leaders to create the first Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, established by the Erie County Legislature to remove gender based inequities for women. 

Ms. Hanson has served on the Board of the Erie County Medical Center for more than ten years and currently serves as the first African American Chair of the Board.  She is also a member of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board, which supports the medical center's patient care services through fundraising. 

Dr. Dietrich Jehle - Recipient of the "Extraordinary HERO Award"

On October 29, 2009, the ECMC Corporation Board of Directors honored one of their own,

Dr. Dietrich Jehle, ECMC Associate Medical Director, Emergency Room Physician, and Board of Directors Member, by presenting Dr. Jehle with the "Extraordinary HERO Award."  On September 3rd, 2009, Dietrich Jehle was traveling to a Buffalo Bills football game where he provides medical care to fans and support medical care to players.  While in route on the southbound Niagara Thruway, Dr. Jehle observed a multi-vehicle crash that occurred immediately ahead of him.  At the scene of the accident, Dr. Jehle directed, triaged and administered emergency care to treat crash victims.  As part of his response, he also put his life at risk directing/assisting in the rescue of a driver and two young passengers from a burning and severely damaged car.  He represents the very best at ECMC and he exemplifies the expert care delivered at the Medical Center every day. 

Two ECMC Administrators Selected for Harvard University program

Two of ECMC's Executive Administrators, Richard Cleland, M.P.A., N.H.A., Senior Vice President of Operations, and Bonnie Ann Glica, M.S., R.N., Senior Vice President of Nursing, have been selected to attend a Harvard University leadership development program.  The "Managing Healthcare Delivery" program will be held over a nine month period, and will further enhance knowledge of healthcare management skills, and also help executives gain new perspectives of the healthcare industry.  Congratulations to Bonnie Ann Glica and Richard Cleland for being selected for this outstanding experience. 

ECMC Executive Administrator Ken Richmond Appointed to Board of New Charter School

ECMC Corporation Executive Administrator Ken Richmond, Senior Vice President of Operations, was appointed to the board of the "Health Sciences Charter School," which is scheduled to open in August of 2010 in the town of Tonawanda.  As stated in its mission statement," The primary purpose of the Health Sciences Charter School is to provide high school age youth in Erie County, and especially those students within the City of Buffalo, with academically challenging learning environments that prepare them to communicate effectively, think and reason critically, value diversity, engage in service learning, pursue academic excellence, and obtain sustainable and quality careers in the health sciences industry."  Partners in this Charter School include: Catholic Health System, Community Health Center of Buffalo, Communication Workers of America, Erie Community College, Erie County Medical Center Corporation, HealthNow New York, Kaleida Health, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. 

Erie County, ECMC Corporation Reach Major Financial Settlement

Plan calls for building new county nursing home on ECMC's Grider Street campus

On December 30, 2009, The Board of Directors of Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) and Erie County Executive Chris Collins announced that the board unanimously approved an historic financial settlement reached between Erie County and the health system.  

The agreement, which settles a lawsuit ECMCC filed in 2005, resolves and clearly defines the county's future financial obligations to ECMCC, providing assurances for hospital leadership and county taxpayers.  The agreement also paves the way for ECMCC to move forward in its partnership with Great Lakes Health and ECMCC's plans to build a Center of Excellence in Organ Transplants and expand orthopedic services. 

Under terms of the agreement, the county's annual operating funding to ECMCC will be $16.2 million, as long as ECMC remains a public benefit corporation.  The 2005 lawsuit left that issue unresolved and could have resulted in county budget uncertainty in 2010 and beyond.  

The centerpiece of the new agreement involves building a replacement for the current Erie County Home in Alden.  The plan calls for a new facility on ECMC's Grider Street Campus at a cost of approximately $105 million that will replace the currently outdated buildings.  In addition to shifting jobs to Buffalo, the new facility will add development to the city's East Side.  

Also as part of the settlement, ECMCC agreed to reduce the county's current capital obligation to ECMCC from $23 million to $11.5 million and earmark it toward construction of the new facility on Grider Street.  ECMCC will continue to pay the bond debt incurred when the public benefit corporation was established in 2004. 

The settlement agreement includes the transfer of buildings and land between the county and ECMCC.  The parties have agreed to trade ownership of certain buildings on the Grider Street campus and to demolish eight currently unused structures to make way for future development.  After construction of the new Erie County Home, the county will retake ownership of the Alden building.  The Erie County Legislature needs to approve the agreement. 

Finally, the parties reached agreement on retirement liability for employees at ECMCC.  The issue involved ECMCC's creation as a public benefit corporation in 2004 and the determination of who was responsible for retirement liability of employees hired when the county ran the system prior to 2004.  The agreement focused on the retirement of employees, rather than the hiring dates of employees.  The settlement agreement determines that the retirement liability of employees who retired prior to Jan. 1, 2004 is the responsibility of the county and the retirement liability of employees who retired after Jan.1, 2004 is the responsibility of ECMCC.  

"This settlement agreement is a win for this community in countless ways," said County Executive Chris Collins.  "For taxpayers, it assures a fixed subsidy and defined capital investment for ECMCC, taking a financial unknown off the table and allowing the county to accurately budget and plan for years to come.  For ECMCC, it provides an appropriate subsidy in recognition of ECMCC's growing obligation to care for our community's most vulnerable citizens." 

"For our aging population, the settlement agreement dedicates funding toward building a new nursing home with a mission of providing skilled nursing care to indigent seniors," continued Collins.  "And for the future of health care in Western New York, it allows ECMCC to move forward with its plans to build Centers of Excellence in Orthopedics and Organ Transplants, improving the level of medical care in our community." 

"As ECMCC works to create a new pre-eminent health care system with Kaleida and Great Lakes Health, this agreement brings financial certainty that will help us plan for better health care for our patients," said ECMCC CEO Jody Lomeo.  "I want to also commend the ECMCC board, because as a taxpayer I too am pleased that we can bring funding certainty to our county government when it comes to ECMCC as it continues to serve Erie County's residents." 

The settlement emerged after Collins appointed a panel late in 2008 to agree on county-ECMCC issues that needed resolution.  The panel met, identified the issues, and sought to have counsel for the respective parties conduct negotiations.  ECMCC counsel Anthony J. Colucci III and Erie County attorney Cheryl Green negotiated the agreement with direction from the county executive and ECMCC leadership.  Toward the end of the process, Collins and Lomeo met to compromise on larger issues in the agreement.  The ECMCC board approved the 17-page agreement Dec. 22 and it will be signed before Dec. 31. 

"This is another step in the collaboration of the many parties involved in Great Lakes Health," said Robert Gioia, chairman of the Great Lakes board.  "Everyone involved in this complex effort to make health care in Buffalo and Erie County world class continues to keep their eyes on that goal and work effectively toward it." 

ECMC Selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Kick Off Participation in National Health Care Quality Initiative

In 2002, the Institute of Medicine issued a groundbreaking report entitled Unequal Treatment.  The report provided evidence that racial and ethnic minorities were more likely to receive lower-quality care than whites, particularly when treating heart disease and cancer. 

To address the need for real-world solutions to improve the quality of health care for racial and ethnic minority patients in communities across the country, ECMC is pleased to announce participation in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality: Equity Quality Improvement Collaborative (Equity QI Collaborative).  A multidisciplinary team at ECMC is working together to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities in cardiac care, and to test solutions. 

"Serving a racially and ethnically diverse community, ECMC is committed to ensuring that all of our patients receive the highest-quality of care all of the time," said Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corporation.  "Participating in the Equity QI collaborative will demonstrate that we are committed to taking a leadership role to improve patient care and help eliminate disparities in our nation's health care system," stated Mark C. Barabas, D.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., President and Chief Operating Officer, ECMC Corporation. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explains that "The Equity QI Collaborative is part of Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform.  Hospitals in the 15 communities (across the nation) currently participating in AF4Q were given the opportunity to apply to participate in this component of the initiative.  It is one of three AF4Q National Collaboratives that will be offered to hospitals to improve the quality of care for people in their communities." 

"Models and resources to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities that exist in our country are required by all health care providers.  We need quality-improvement strategies that are effective and replicable," said Bonnie Ann Glica, Senior Vice President of Nursing for ECMC Corporation. "Our participation in the Equity QI Collaborative enables us to develop the tools necessary to deliver lasting change that improves the quality of care for all patients." 

Along with other collaborative hospitals, ECMC will participate in a "learning network" to test new ideas, quantify results and share lessons learned. Program successes will be shared nationwide, giving other hospitals concrete and effective initiatives to adopt in their own busy hospital environments. 

An introductory Equity QI Collaborative program was held in Washington, D.C. in October.  Representatives from ECMC and other selected hospitals received two days of intensive training.  After learning about program successes, the ECMC team returned to Buffalo with a multitude of ideas of innovations to implement. 

To launch the program at ECMC, communications materials have been produced and placed in numerous areas throughout the hospital to inform patients and visitors about ECMC's participation in the Equity QI Collaborative. 

The communications explain that the reason staff members are asking questions about race, ethnicity and language is to enable ECMC to more equitably deliver health care to all patients..."We Ask Because We Care." 

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Equity QI Collaborative is overseen by The Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services. 

ECMC Participates in operation Vigilant Guard 2009

The largest military/civilian disaster response exercise ever held in New York State brought more than 1,500 troops from six states and the US Virgin Islands to the Niagara Frontier Region the first week of November. 

The drill was part of Vigilant Shield, a series of exercises run by United States Northern Command which has the responsibility for the defense of the mainland United States, and for response to domestic disasters.  The exercise gives the military, especially the Army and Air National Guard Forces, the chance to practice emergency response operations with local, state, regional and federal partners in preparation for both natural disasters and terrorist attacks.  In the case of Erie County, it allowed our local first responders to work side by side with the military and better prepare for future emergencies.  In the words of Brig. Gen. Michael Swezey, commander of the Guard's Joint Task Force 6, "This exercise was developed from lessons learned from the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and from Hurricane Katrina.  Vigilant Guard is an opportunity for military and civilian professionals to train together and prepare for a potential catastrophe we all naturally hope will never happen." 

In the exercise scenario, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale hit near the Buffalo State College campus on October 30, at 2:00 P.M.  The earthquake caused tremendous damage to the urban core of Buffalo, Erie County and southern Niagara County. Included in the damage was significant destruction to most of the healthcare facilities in the area, including the estimated loss of 55%-75% of the ECMC Campus.  These figures were based on scientific research conducted by the University at Buffalo and their earthquake simulation center.  As the "emergency" played out, the National Guard was called out by the Governor to support the local emergency responders. 

Here at ECMC, several things were occurring in relation to the drill. ECMC was selected as one of the receiving hospitals for actual injuries coming from the various drill sites in Erie and Niagara Counties.  In preparation for this, ECMC staff members had been meeting with the medical planners from the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs for the past 6 months, preparing for all possible scenarios.  This included a visit to the Emergency Department (ED) on Sunday, November 1st by members of the 446th Area Medical Company (Glens Falls) which had the responsibility of transporting actual casualties from the drill sites.  All communications between the military ambulances and the ED were done via cell phones as the ambulances are not equipped with our local MERS radios.  Additionally, ECMC participated in several communications drills starting on the 30th of October and culminating with a test of our amateur radio system on the evening of November 4th. 

Perhaps the most visible participation in the drill was the landing of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in ECMC's K-lot heliport on Thursday, November 5th.  The flight medic and two flight surgeons were brought to the Burn Treatment Center where they picked up a simulated burn patient to evacuate to another Burn Treatment Unit.  This followed the exercise scenario exactly, since in a real disaster, those patients that are the easiest to move would be evacuated first and the most difficult would be moved last.  The Klot heliport was used because the weight of the Blackhawk is almost twice that of a MercyFlight craft and the rotor downwash produces winds nearing 80 mph upon takeoff and landing, rendering our present landing pad unusable for large frame helicopters. 

The Blackhawk landing could not have been accomplished without the work of several different parties.  Special thanks goes out to the ECMC Plant Operations Department for making emergency repairs to the K lot landing pad on the day prior to the landing; to our Police Department for assuring the safety of the Landing Zone; to Rural Metro Medical Service for assigning two Advanced Life Support (ALS) units to use during the drill to allow for the transfer of the flight crews and the burn patient; and finally to the Buffalo Fire Department's Engine 31 which stood-by during the transfer as though it was a real event, meaning that the crews did not shut down the aircraft while waiting for the patient to be moved from inside the Medical Center.  This disaster drill was conducted with as much realism as possible and reflected ECMC's role as the Adult Regional Trauma Center and the Regional Resource Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. 

Great Lakes Health premiers at Community Expo

Great Lakes Health (GLH) was the premier sponsor for the WUFO 1080 AM Radio - 2009 Expo and Health/Job Fair held on Saturday, November 7th at the Buffalo Convention Center.  Healthcare exhibits were on display where together, ECMC and Kaleida Health presented an excellent showing of services to the community. GLH provided services/ presented information pertaining to: Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Glucose Screenings; HIV/AIDS information and screenings; Stroke; Skilled Nursing Facilities; dental hygiene from UB Dental; Health Insurance; Poison Control; as well as Kaleida careers and scholarships.  The showing was very impressive; the staff members interacted and engaged with over 780 patrons, answering many questions pertaining to their personal health, and how Great Lakes Health will impact the quality of their health care in the future.  This was the first of many community initiatives where ECMC and Kaleida Health are presented as GLH, and was a great opportunity for Kaleida/ECMC colleagues to meet and show area residents that together we are committed to "advance the health of our community." 

ECMC Corporate Training Director Rita Hubbard-Robinson, JD, Honored as Black Achiever in Industry

ECMC Corporate Training Director Rita Hubbard-Robinson, JD, was honored as a Black Achiever in Industry award recipient.  Sponsored by 1490 Enterprises, The Black Achievers in Industry Awards recognize individuals who have achieved excellence in their professional fields.  As ECMC's Corporate Training Director, Rita Hubbard-Robinson, JD, is responsible for both hospital employee education and training, and programs designed to create pathways into the medical professions.  She also serves as the ECMC lead with Great Lakes Health in conducting community outreach initiatives.  In addition to corporate training programs at ECMC, highlights of Rita Hubbard-Robinson's "pathways programs" include the ECMC Healthcare Professions Conference for 7th graders.  This interactive hands-on conference held at the Buffalo Museum of Science in spring 2009, offered 200 Buffalo Public School students an opportunity to learn about healthcare professions and explore the world of science.  Also to her credit, Ms. Hubbard-Robinson coordinated the second annual summer youth internship program at ECMC.  Youths in the program were taught the fundamentals of being successful in the workplace. Each year, this program serves over 100 high school students in the Western New York community, representing a variety of public, private, charter, and parochial schools. 

Ms. Hubbard-Robinson has developed various partnerships and programs that have enhanced community services in the Buffalo area.  Committed to both cultural groups and community development, Rita Hubbard-Robinson serves as: Chairperson of the Langston Hughes Institute, Inc., President of the WNY HR, EEO Diversity Professionals Network; and Chairperson of the Hamlin Park Taxpayer Association's Marketing Committee.  Ms. Hubbard-Robinson has received various awards that include: the 2008 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award, from NYS Senator Antoine Thompson; the Professional Award in June 2004, from the Buffalo Chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs; and the 2000 Executive of the Year Award from the YWCA of Western New York. Most recently, Ms. Hubbard-Robinson was inducted as a 2009 Leadership Buffalo member

FBI 2009 Director's Community Leadership Award presented to ECMC Pastoral Care Chaplain Kenyatta T. Cobb

James H. Robertson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Buffalo Field Office, selected Pastor Kenyatta T. Cobb as the 2009 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award (DCLA) recipient. SAC Robertson presented Pastor Cobb with the commemorative award on Friday, December 11, 2009, at ECMC. 

The FBI presents the DCLA annually on behalf of its Director, Robert S. Mueller III.  It was created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and for contributing toward civil rights education/prevention.  Each year, the Special Agent in Charge of each FBI Field Office has the opportunity, with input from FBI employees, to select an individual or organization that has made a significant difference in the lives of others. 

Pastor Kenyatta T. Cobb is the pastor of the Hananiah Lutheran Church, Buffalo, New York.  He uses this position to develop and support young individuals and others in the community through his motivational speeches at youth symposiums, national night out events, and community walks. Pastor Cobb fights against the ills of urban degeneration daily. 

Pastor Cobb is also the Senior Chaplain for the Erie County Sheriff's Department and Chaplain for the City of Buffalo, New York, Police Department.  He works closely with law enforcement officers and serves as a liaison for families who have been touched by violence.  He proudly offers personal support to police officers as they protect and serve.  His love for life is apparent as Chief Trauma Chaplain at ECMC, where he aids victims of crimes.  Pastor Cobb is committed to supporting law enforcement as Coordinator of the Faith-Based Department of Justice - City of Buffalo Weed and Seed Initiative and as a member of the Western District of New York United States Attorney's Office's Project Exile. 

After graduating from the 2001 FBI Citizens' Academy, Pastor Cobb sensed there was a need to do more in his community so he began to bridge needed resources.  In late 2001, Pastor Cobb founded the Western New York Law Enforcement Chaplains Association as an avenue to train dozens of local clergy members (representing various faiths) to provide added support for law enforcement officers; members serve as catalysts in their communities and assist with issues concerning gangs, violence and drugs. 

Currently, Pastor Cobb serves as one of Buffalo's youngest African American historians.  Often heard saying at the end of conversations "see you on the battlefield," he dedicates his energy and passion to the residents of Western New York.  He continues to work tirelessly establishing community outreach efforts to include an after-school program focusing on computer technology, developing a male mentoring initiative, teaching basic skills and responsibilities, and offering Karate and Judo classes that focus on discipline. 

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, presented Pastor Kenyatta Cobb with the 2009 FBI DCLA during a formal ceremony at FBI Headquarters, Washington, DC, in March of 2010. 

Trocaire College Partners with ECMC to Establish Dedicated Nursing Education Unit

On December 2, 2009, the Trocaire College McAuley School of Nursing and the Nursing Department at Erie County Medical Center have joined to participate in a Clinical Educational Service Partnership.  The project entails implementation of a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU).  This project represents the first such effort, involving a two-year college, to pilot the effectiveness of the Dedicated Education Unit in the Western New York healthcare community. 

A Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) is an inpatient clinical unit that is developed into an optimal teaching/learning environment.  Through the collaborative efforts of nurses, management, and faculty, the clinical setting is designed to provide students with a positive clinical learning environment that maximizes the achievement of student learning outcomes.  It utilizes proven teaching/learning strategies, and capitalizes on the expertise of both clinicians and faculty.  While the traditional approach of Trocaire's clinical experiences assigns one Trocaire nursing faculty member to supervise and provide clinical education to nine students, the DEU model allows specially trained ECMC nurses to share their clinical experience and knowledge with two Trocaire student nurses providing personalized attention and instruction.  "The DEU was a great learning experience," noted Trocaire nursing student Sena Ho.  "With the one nurse per two student ratio, I got a lot of hands-on experience that I probably would not have gotten otherwise." 

The objectives of the DEU are to: utilize staff nurses to assist in the clinical competence of undergraduate students; provide clinical education for an increased number of students; assist and support the professional development of staff nurses; and provide a prepared pool of potential resources for workforce recruitment.  "The Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) provides optimal teaching/learning through collaborative efforts of the ECMC nurses and Trocaire College nursing faculty, stated Mary Ann Deb, RN, MS, MBA, Trocaire PN/RN Clinical Coordinator.  "The DEU instructor provides students with a positive clinical learning environment and capitalizes on the expertise of ECMC nurses.  Each Trocaire nursing faculty member works directly with ECMC staff as a coach and facilitates the transfer of classroom learning to practice.  The DEU is built on the belief that the ECMC staff nurse's role is vital to the development of the Trocaire College nursing student's knowledge and skills." 

The Dedicated Education Unit concept draws from the experiences of Flinders University in South Australia where the DEU concept was developed.  The University of Portland School of Nursing piloted the model on the West Coast.  The model provides a framework for clinical instruction.  Thinking in terms of "it takes a village to raise new nurses," the DEU model establishes an environment which supports and fosters the clinical education of nursing students. 

The unit selected in which to implement this training program during the fall of 2009 was 7 South, ECMC's Trauma Step-down Unit.  "When I think of Trocaire graduates, I am reminded of "the four Cs of Nursing"-caring, compassion, competence, and consistency.  These mirror the ECMC Nursing Mission and Vision," explained Karen Ziemianski, RN, MS, Assistant Director of Nursing. 

ECMC "WNY Runs for Heroes 5K Run & HealthWalk" held October 3rd

The ECMC Lifeline Foundation held its thirteenth annual "5K Run & HealthWalk" fundraiser on Saturday, October 3, 2009.  The event, now called, "Western New York Runs for Heroes" was held in Delaware Park, at the Marcy Casino on Lincoln Parkway at Hoyt Lake.  Since its inception, area police officers injured in the line of duty and treated at ECMC have been honored during this event.  In 2007, a firefighter injured in the line of duty and treated at ECMC was honored.  Last year, the event was further expanded to honor not only Western New York firefighters and police officers injured in the line of duty, but also to recognize physicians, nurses, and other emergency lifesavers. 

This year, ECMC Corporation Associate Medical Director Dr. Dietrich Jehle was recognized as a "WNY Runs for Heroes" honoree for his on-site lifesaving work in the care and rescue of multiple victims of a September 2009 motor vehicle crash.  Police and Firefighter event honorees are: Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed; Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete; Buffalo Police Officer Carl Andolina; Lockport Police Officer Steven D. Ritchie; Lockport Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert; and Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell. 

On September 3rd, 2009, Dietrich Jehle, M.D., ECMC Corporation Associate Medical Director and Emergency Physician, and former (17-year) Director of the Medical Center's Emergency Department, was travelling to a Buffalo Bills football game where he provides medical care to fans and support medical care to players.  While in route on the southbound Niagara Thruway, Dr. Jehle observed a multi-vehicle crash that occurred immediately ahead of him.  At the scene of the accident, Dr. Jehle directed, triaged and administered emergency care to treat crash victims.  As part of his response, he also put his life at risk directing/assisting in the rescue of a driver and two young passengers from a burning and severely damaged car. 

Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed was transported to ECMC on June 10, 2007, after a brick chimney collapsed on him while fighting an arson fire in a vacant house in the City.  Reed arrived at ECMC with multiple, life-threatening injuries.  Yet, after undergoing multiple surgeries and extensive care, Reed was discharged from ECMC on August 1, 2007.  Firefighter Reed is a 5K Run & HealthWalk honoree (for the third year) will participate in the healthwalk this year. 

On December 5, 2006, Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete and her partner Officer Carl Andolina were dispatched to a downtown gas station where a fight had been reported.  The officers chased a suspect and ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets when he then began shooting at both officers at point blank range.  Officer Andolina tackled him to the ground.  Both officers were injured in the gun battle, with Officer Parete sustaining severe injuries from a gunshot to the spine.  Officer Andolina was shot three times, treated at ECMC and discharged.  Officer Parete underwent extensive emergency/trauma surgery and care at ECMC.  Officers Parete and Andolina are 5K Run & HealthWalk honorees (for the third year). 

Lockport Police Chief Lawrence Eggert and Officer Steven Ritchie were injured in the line of duty in February of 2003, during a gun battle with a man they pursued for shooting a Lockport bar patron and riddling a building with bullets with a semi-automatic weapon.  Both officers were injured and treated by ECMC emergency/trauma teams.  Ritchie was brought to ECMC in critical condition.  Chief Eggert and Officer Ritchie are returning honorees (for the sixth year).  Officer Ritchie will participate in the healthwalk (for the fifth consecutive year). 

In September of 1999, after sustaining life-threatening injuries when shot in the line of duty, Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell was transported to ECMC for emergency, trauma, and follow-up care.   Detective Mitchell is a tenth year honoree and will compete as a runner in the 5K event (for the ninth consecutive year). 

Co-chairpersons of this event for 2009 were: Foundation Board Member and Rural Metro Ambulance District Manager Adin Bradley and ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board Vice-Chair and Exigence Group Practice Manager Clifton M. Bergfeld.  The ECMC Lifeline Foundation Executive Director is Gia Alessandra Coone. 

5K Run & HealthWalk competitions included the competitive run as well as a healthwalk.  The course is USA Track & Field certified, sanctioned by the USATF and certified to be accurate by the USATF #NY02009AM.  Prizes for the run went to overall female and male winners (no duplicate awards), as well as the first three male and female winners in each of eight age groups.  There was a special prize available for anyone breaking the WNY 5K record-breaking time.  Corporate teams, including ECMC departments, were eligible for team prizes. 

ECMC Professionals are keynote speakers for "Health and Wholeness Fair" held October 1st at Deerhurst Presbyterian Church

Susan Ksiazek, Rh.D., Pharmacist: Susan Ksiazek is currently the Director of Physician Quality and Education at the Erie County Medical Center. She is a Senior Level Pharmacist with 25 years of experience.  Susan provided information on medication safety. 

John R. Fudyma, MD, Internist: Dr. Fudyma is currently the Medical Director for the Seneca Nation Health Department.  He is also an Associate Medical Director for Erie County

Medical Center Corporation.  Dr. Fudyma is an expert in general health and spoke about men's health concerns. 

Another presenter discussed women's health issues.  Additionally provided during this health fair was information on physical fitness and healthy cooking.  Blood pressure screenings, massage therapy, meditation sessions, and a children's workshop on hand washing and cleanliness were conducted. 

Great Lakes Health Transplant Center at ECMC

State HEAL 11 money helps create center for kidney, pancreas transplants

On September 29, 2009, Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) announced that the New York State Health Department awarded ECMCC a $7.5 million grant as part of a $13.6 million consolidation of ECMC's and Kaleida Health's kidney and pancreatic transplant programs through Great Lakes Health. 

With the aid and guidance of the physician-led Professional Steering Committee, transition to the new facility at ECMC is expected to establish a center of transplant excellence that can handle about 125 patients annually.  ECMCC will provide the balance of the funding from a $25 million hospital endowment fund its board created last summer to help combine medical practices. 

"This represents one of the first tangible examples of Kaleida and ECMC re-allocating medical programs to meet the need of our community and patients," said ECMCC CEO Jody L. Lomeo.  "This grant helps us build upon the momentum we have created to bring better health care to Western New York." 

To better serve at-risk populations, the Renal Management and Transplant Consolidation Project will enable greater coordination of efforts to promote preventative care.  Staff from ECMC will work with primary care providers to better manage diabetes and heart disease to institute a sorely needed outpatient care program designed to promote early intervention and education.  Such efforts have proven to delay total kidney failure and to lower patient costs. 

"This physician-led project is about taking what we have today, which is very good, and making it even better for the patients we serve," said James R. Kaskie, CEO of Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health.  "Aligning the two programs will assist in the retention and recruitment of physicians, and, just as important, will enhance Great Lakes Health's ability to serve more renal and transplant patients in the future.  The state's HEAL-NY award is tangible evidence that with the proper vision and planning, we can grow while we are evolving." 

The approved grant, announced Friday, gives Great Lakes Health the ability to continue to leverage the current limited amount of money available to advance other consolidation efforts and make this project a success. 

The grant is part of the Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL NY) phase 11.  The funding is part of $436 million awarded statewide through HEAL, allocated through the Health Department and the state Dormitory Authority.  The HEAL funds come in three categories and pay for dozens of projects throughout Buffalo-Niagara, including hospital consolidations, information technology integration, and transitions of nursing homes. 

The renal and pancreatic transplant program currently at Buffalo General Hospital will combine with an existing kidney transplant program at ECMC and both will become one at the Grider Street campus. 

One in eight citizens of Buffalo, or more than 34,000 people, has chronic kidney disease.  An additional 12,000 are at risk due to diabetes and/or heart disease.  Physicians from both transplant programs at Kaleida and ECMC are committed to creating this world-class center that will address to serve the patients of our community with end stage renal disease. 

ECMC Transplant Team Institutes Innovative Patient Education Program

The ECMC Transplant Team, led by Dr. Rocco Venuto, Medical Director of Transplantation and Dr. George Blessios, instituted an innovative patient education program on June 25, 2009.  The program brought together over 40 possible kidney and pancreas transplant patients and their families and friends.  This was arranged to orient them to what it meant to be referred for transplant, the process of evaluation, and what to expect after the transplant.  ECMC transplant team members gave a short overview and answered the questions from the patients and their families. 

Dr. Venuto spoke to the group about why they were referred for transplant evaluation, the status of the current kidney waiting list nationally and the importance of living donation.  Dr. Blessios spoke about both the laparoscopic surgical technique utilized for living donors and the surgical procedure for transplantation. 

Valerie Bennett, RN, Transplant Coordinator talked about the evaluation process.  Karen McCarthy, Financial Coordinator, discussed insurance, drug programs, and financial considerations.  Virginia Smaczniak, MSW, talked about the psychosocial aspects of transplantation and provided information on the ECMC Living Donor Support Group.  Lisa Venuto, PA, spoke about post-operative care and the need to continue taking immunosuppressive therapies, and the importance of life long follow-up care.  Marcia Krzywicki, NP, Living Donor Coordinator, talked about the issues and selection of people that have volunteered to donate a kidney to a family member or friend.  And finally Maureen Lester, RD, talked about the dietary evaluation of patients with kidney disease and what it was like to be a kidney donor. 

Many questions were asked by those in attendance and the entire session was very well received.  It is anticipated that the team will continue to offer this program several times a year.  The more informed a patient and a potential living donor, the better response to this type of treatment option.  ECMC is providing this innovative approach in the interests of our patients and the community.  It represents the very best of the ECMC Culture of Care. 

World Transplant Games Medal Winners Celebrate the Gift of Life with Medal Presentation to ECMC's Dr. Venuto

The World Transplant Games were held from August 22 to August 29, 2009, in Queensland, Australia (The Gold Coast). Over 51 countries and 900 athletes competed in the "Transplant Olympics."  The purpose of the games is to celebrate the gift of life, to promote organ donation, and to demonstrate to the world that transplantation works. 

Cattaraugus resident Bob Watson competed in the shot put and brought home a silver medal. Buffalo resident Barbara Breckenridge, who just celebrated the 10th anniversary of her kidney transplant, competed in track and field and won five medals: a bronze in the 3K Road Race, a gold in the 400-meter Sprint, a silver in the 200-Meter Sprint, a bronze in the Cricket Ball Throw, and a bronze for time for Team USA in the 3K Road Race. These two Western New Yorkers wanted to celebrate the gift of life by honoring the team at ECMC who guided them through their kidney transplant procedures/experiences. 

On December 17, 2009, at ECMC, through the support of the National Kidney Foundation (NFK), Watson and Breckenridge presented one of their medals to Rocco C. Venuto, MD, FASN, Medical/Transplantation Director, Nephrology (Renal/Kidney Services), Erie County Medical Center. 

Breckenridge said, "It is because of all of the staff in the Renal Department at ECMC that we were able to meet the challenge of the transplant games.  The treatment and care we receive for our kidney disease through Dr. Venuto and the ECMC team allows us to live the life we are able to lead today.  We wanted to share this accomplishment with these dedicated professionals." 

The NKF is a major health organization seeking to prevent kidney and urologic diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of organs for transplantation.  For more information, visit http://www.kidney.org/ and www.nkfofwny.org or call (716) 835-1323. 

National Kidney Foundation hosts Holiday Tree Decorating Ceremony for Transplant Recipients and Organ Donors at ECMC

The National Kidney Foundation Serving Western New York hosted its annual Give Life, Give Thanks Holiday Tree Decorating Ceremony for organ donors and transplant recipients at ECMC on Wednesday, November 18, 2009.  The symbolic ceremony brought together those who have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation, organ transplant recipients, and those waiting for a life-saving organ. The event was free of charge and included speakers, refreshments, music, and tree decorating. 

Rocco C. Venuto, MD, FASN, Medical/Transplantation Director, Nephrology (Renal/Kidney Services) ECMC, said, "The Erie County Medical Center is delighted to once again be the site of this recognition ceremony.  The program is another important component of the hospital's mission as a Transplant Center and the premiere organ recovery center in Western New York." 

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is a major health organization seeking to prevent kidney and urologic diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and to increase the availability of organs for transplantation. 

The ECMC-hosted National Kidney Foundation Holiday Tree Decorating Ceremony honoring families of organ/tissue donors, living donors, transplant recipients, dialysis patients and those

waiting for a transplant in our community-was sponsored by the ECMC Lifeline Foundation.  Additionally, the ECMC Lifeline Foundation sponsored the ECMC Transplant Department Holiday Party for Hemodialysis Patients. 

P2 Collaborative on Quality Healthcare

Great Lakes Health, a proud silver sponsor, made a community appearance at the Third Annual P2 Collaborative of WNY Conference on September 24-25, 2009, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.  During the two day conference, nationally renowned experts presented innovative ideas on improving quality healthcare in Western New York.  Rita Hubbard-Robinson from ECMC and Barbara

Franklin from Kaleida offered information about the future of Great Lakes Health. 

The theme for this year's conference was "Creating a Health Community." Our very own Bonnie Ann Glica, Sr. Vice President of Nursing, was featured in a panel discussion entitled, "What's Happening in WNY?-Transforming Care at the Bedside."  This workshop offered a regional perspective on improved care at the hospital bedside. 

The P2 Collaborative of WNY, Inc. mission is to improve quality in healthcare. The conference offered three topic tracks to move WNY toward becoming a more healthy community-health equity, healthy lifestyles and regional quality improvement.  Workshop highlights also included reducing disparities in care, and advocating for healthy lifestyles. 

Electronic Tracking Board Premieres in the Emergency Department

Meditech's Emergency Department Management Module (EDM) went "LIVE" on September 22, 2009.  The EDM assists clinicians and staff with managing patients quickly and efficiently, streamlining overall work flow, and aiding in quality and process improvement. 

Process improvements of the system include: Electronic script writing: Eliminating illegible scripts and alerting of interactions between allergies, medications, and outpatient meds to increase patient safety; Electronic patient handoff to reflect exact time of assignments [Joint Commission (NPSG02.05.01)]; Electronic discharge performed by the nursing staff: Capturing true departure time; Nursing staff is unable to discharge the patient without the registration process being completed, giving the staff a second opportunity to obtain the patient's signature and complete the compliance requirements; Flagging duplicate orders, thereby increasing patient safety

Other features of the EDM aid in: data collection, length of stay (LOS), analysis, laboratory and imaging result turn-around time, and admission data helpful for quality improvements. 

The collaboration between the Healthcare Information Services (HIS) / Information Technology (IT) and Emergency Department (ED) staff members were essential in making this project a success.  Their efforts demonstrate true collaboration and teamwork at its best.  With the proper planning, communication, and teamwork, they helped make the transition from a manual dry-erase board to electronic tracker seamless.  IT gave the ED team members clever ideas and hints to help prepare the staff for the upcoming changes.  The team worked tirelessly to electronically mimic the communications of the white, dry-erase boards and create minimal disruption to the work flow and processes.  They also worked closely to develop documents that assisted in education and training of the staff, while providing the emergency department with the support they needed throughout the training and implementation of the project. 

Second Annual Health Care Expo for HIV+ Individuals and Families

On Tuesday, September 15, 2009, the AIDS Network of WNY, WNED TV and Parkview Health Services sponsored "Living Positively," a Health Care Expo for HIV+ individuals and families.  This educational conference and exhibition was geared toward consumers, mental health providers, caregivers and professionals to provide information about the latest advancements in nutrition, support and healthcare for the local HIV positive community. 

Numerous HIV/AIDS service providers as well as pharmaceutical company representatives, educators, health organizations, alternative therapy providers, insurance carriers, and nutritional counselors were on-site at WNED TV's studio in Buffalo to showcase the wealth of services and medications available to HIV+ individuals in WNY. 

This expo represents true collaboration with the HIV positive community.  This year, some alternative therapies were added, including Reiki and massage therapy. 

Two awards were presented to outstanding HIV/AIDS community leaders at this Expo.  The Community Advocate Award was presented to Michael Warner of the AIDS Plus Fund, and The HIV/AIDS Professional Award was presented to Dr. Neal Rzepkowski, Immunodeficiency Services, ECMC. 

Dr. Neal Rzepkowski, MD, HIV Specialist, was also the keynote speaker. Dr. Rzepkowski has lived with HIV for 22 years.  As fate would have it, living HIV positive provided him a view of the epidemic that few have experienced.  Since 1991, Dr. Rzepkowski has been caring for HIV-positive patients and people with AIDS at several Western New York clinics. 

Great Lakes health, ECMC, Kaleida Health partner at Hispanic Music Festival

The Hispanic Music Festival on September 4th- 6th was held at LaSalle Park.  This year's event was the largest Hispanic festival ever held in the county of Erie, with over 15,000 patrons.  Many local, regional, and nationally renowned bands were featured in the 20th year celebration.  Rita Hubbard Robinson, ECMC's Corporate Training Director, accepted a plaque on behalf of Great Lakes Health (GLH) from Adrian Rodriguez, a member of the event organizing committee. GLH was a proud sponsor of this event. 

ECMC is only hospital in WNY to earn Gold Performance Achievement Award for high
compliance in coronary artery disease care for 24 consecutive months

On August 13, 2009, the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) announced it was recognized for achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM program.  

ECMC and 569 other hospitals were featured in a July 28 advertisement in the "America's Best Hospitals" issue of US News & World Report to commemorate their receipt of the Get With The Guidelines Gold or Silver Performance Achievement Award.  The awards are given for achievement in coronary artery disease, stroke and/or heart failure treatment. 

Hospitals are recognized in each category in which they achieve at least 85 percent compliance to Get With The Guidelines measures.  Those hospitals marking 85 percent compliance for 24 consecutive months are given the Gold Performance Achievement Award, with the Silver Performance Achievement award going to those with 85 percent compliance for 12 consecutive months. 

ECMC is a Gold Performance Achievement award-winning hospital, recognized for two or more years at 85% or higher adherence in all performance measures applicable to coronary artery disease (CAD).  ECMC was the only Western New York hospital having to achieve this level of success. 

Get With The Guidelines is a hospital-based quality-improvement program designed to ensure that hospitals consistently care for cardiac and stroke patients following the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations.  The program addresses coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke.  Currently more than 1,450 hospitals participate in the program. 

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's advertisement recognizes ECMC's commitment and success in performance achievement.   

"The American Heart Association is pleased to recognize its top Get With The Guidelines participants," said. Lee Schwamm, M.D., national chairman, of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Vice Chairman of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.  "Healthcare providers who use Get With The Guidelines are armed with the latest evidence-based guidelines and immediate access to clinical decision support.  The goal of this initiative is to ultimately improve the quality of life and help reduce deaths among heart and stroke patients." 

"We are pleased and proud that ECMC has been selected by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association as one of ‘America's Best Hospitals' to be recognized in US News & World Report for our achievements in the Get With The Guidelines program," said Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer for ECMC Corporation.  "The Get With The Guidelines reports and tools enable ECMC professionals to effectively treat patients experiencing coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke." 

ECMC Summer Youth Self-development Program continues in popularity and success in
second year Culmination/Awards Event Held July 30 and August 24th

On July 30, 2009, and August 24, 2009, Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMC) held the culmination and awards ceremonies for its second annual comprehensive self development ECMC Summer Youth Program for area high school students entitled A Summer Youth "Pathways to Healthcare" Educational Program.  The program, which took place during the 2009 summer vacation period, included sessions for two groups of 50 students each.  The first session was conducted in July, the second in August, providing 100 students from 25 area high schools with opportunities for self-development by exposing them to a variety of hospital-based health careers. 

The July culmination ceremony featured as keynote speaker, from the University at Buffalo and Jefferson Family Medicine Center, Jeanette L. Figueroa, MD.  The August culmination ceremony featured as keynote speakers: City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and Urban Family Practice physician Raul Vasquez, MD, FAAFP.  Speakers who further encouraged the teenagers included: ECMC Corporation Board of Directors Chairperson Sharon L. Hanson and Chief Executive Officer Jody L. Lomeo.  The ECMC Lifeline Foundation partnered with First Niagara Bank to sponsor the ECMC Summer Youth Program.  First Niagara Vice President Leslie Garrity along with Lifeline Foundation Vice President Penny Morgante and Lifeline Executive Director Gia Coone were on hand during the events to further encourage the students and represent their organizations. 

ECMC Corporate Training Director Rita Hubbard-Robinson directed the youth program and the culmination ceremonies.  Participating teenagers received certificates for successful program completion.  Teenagers attending the August session, in addition to certificates, also received their CPR certifications.  Many in both sessions earned special recognition awards.  ECMC internship site supervisors and coordinators were on hand during the award ceremonies along with Western New York-area high school administrators, teachers, and parents.

"This program was created to stimulate interest in employment in health services and to help meet the future need for qualified personnel in this field, explained ECMC Corporate Training Director Rita Hubbard-Robinson.  "In addition to having internship experiences at ECMC, youth participants took part in seminars focused on health careers."

Participating high schools included: Amherst, Buffalo Academy of Science Charter, Buffalo - Visual and Performing Arts, Buffalo Seminary, Canisius, Cheektowaga Central, City Honors, Depew , East High, Frontier, Holy Angels, Hutchinson Technical, International Prep at Grover Cleveland, Kenmore West, Lafayette, Lancaster Central, Leonardo Da Vinci, Math Science Technology Preparatory, Mount Saint Mary, Nardin, St. Joseph's Collegiate, Tapestry Charter, Williamsville North, Williamsville East, Williamsville South. 

A maximum of 50 students were accepted into the program.  Placements covered opportunities in: Radiology; Clinics; Administration; Nursing; Police Department; Human Resources; Finance Department; Rehabilitation; Nursing In-Service; Cardiac Units/Labs; Medical Library; Plant Operations; Purchasing. 

The criteria established and adhered to in the student selection process included: an 80% overall GPA; letters of recommendation from a counselor and either a math or science teacher; 14 years of age or higher; attendance of 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the Fall of 2009; working papers; consent form signed by a parent/guardian; an up-to-date immunization record; photo ID; Social Security Card/number; and completion of an interview.  Participating students were required to work two (2) six-hour days for a total of 12 hours per week, which included a one hour seminar, computer-based career exploration and career mentoring.  A certificate of completed hours was awarded to each participating student who completed a total of 36 hours during both three-week programs.  

New Bone Health Center Envisioned at ECMC

ECMC responds to looming health crisis

Healthy bones are the vital infrastructure of the human physique. Without them, we'd all be quivering blobs of protoplasm, blood, cells, nerves, and tendons stuck in one spot for life.  Good bones provide the opportunity for mobility, vitality, and an active, productive life.  There's just one problem: they wear out. More specifically, bones lose their mineral density as we age due to a natural depletion of minerals and decreasing amounts of hormones in our bodies. 

Although women experience loss of bone density or osteoporosis more often than men, both genders are affected: 50% of women and 20% of men will suffer a fracture in their lifetime.  Of the 10 million Americans estimated to have osteoporosis, eight million are women and two million are men. An additional 34 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have low bone mass, which increases their risk of osteoporosis.  As the baby boomer generation ages, the need for diagnosis and management of osteoporosis becomes increasingly acute.  Medical experts predict that the incidence of ‘fragility fractures'-fractures due to weak bones-will skyrocket over the next twenty years and the economic impact on the healthcare system will be staggering.

The acute need for improved bone health in Western New York

One of the missions of Great Lakes Health, the new entity comprising Kaleida Health, the University at Buffalo, and ECMC, is to hammer out plans for specific ways to improve healthcare in the region.  A subcommittee of the Professional Steering Committee of Great Lakes Health has recommended the addition of a new wing at ECMC dedicated to elective orthopaedic surgery.  This wing would also include a new Bone Health Center.  The Bone Health Center will bring new sub-specialists in orthopaedics to Buffalo in areas that are underserved, such as metabolic bone disease, as well as specialists in rheumatology and geriatric medicine.  It will improve access to care for orthopaedic patients in general and greatly enhance prevention and care for patients with bone health problems. 

"Our idea is to have a center where women and men who are susceptible to osteoporosis will come to learn more about bone density disease and to be screened and treated," says Lawrence Bone, MD, ECMC Orthopaedic Surgeon, Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University at Buffalo, and Chair of the Professional Steering Committee at Great Lakes Health.  "I equate it to women getting mammograms and pap smears after a certain age.  It's a ritual for them because it's preventative.  They need to think of their bones in the same way, as susceptible to a disease that we can't really prevent but the effects of which we can lessen." 

A regional center dedicated to orthopaedic health

The University at Buffalo Orthopaedics Department, the largest orthopaedics practice in Western New York, is currently working with Great Lakes Health to create this leading center for musculoskeletal medicine and orthopaedic health at ECMC's campus.  These organizations are developing a strategy that aligns physicians dedicated to the goal of establishing a regional center committed to continuing data-driven improvements, research, and education. 

This center of excellence in orthopaedic care will: Provide state-of-the-art treatment and equipment; Develop and support orthopaedic research; Integrate technology, education, and health through interdisciplinary collaboration; Enhance the quality of life for those with osteoporosis through the benefit of early diagnosis and treatment, co-managed care, and rehabilitation. 

At the Bone Health Center, patient medical histories will be carefully examined and evaluated for risk from smoking or medications that can lead to an acceleration of bone loss.  "We'll run Dexa Scans on patients to determine their risk for bone density loss and fragility fractures, then write a letter to their primary care physician with recommendations," explains Dr. Bone.  "We don't want to be their primary care doctor but we want to be a center where they can be evaluated and treated because no one else in the region is doing it."  Dexa Scans are the most commonly used test to measure bone density and detect osteopenia, a precursor of osteoporosis. 

With its aging and overweight population, Western New York is an excellent candidate for the Bone Health Center. While some of the projected services are currently being delivered, the care is fragmented and not always easy to access.  The new Center will provide a one-stop approach to total patient care.  Surgical patients will have the benefit of a coordinated team working together for the best possible outcome from pre-admission testing through surgery, post-op recovery, and rehabilitation. 

The vision for the Center has been approved by the Great Lakes Health board and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer have already approved $300,000 in federal funds for ECMC to jump start the project.  "We anticipate that in the next couple of years there will be a building and a staffed center and we will be implementing care and raising awareness of the Bone Health Center and its mission among community groups," Dr. Bone added.  "We envision it as a screening, treatment, educational, and wellness center for the whole community." 

ECMC "Camp 9-1-1" Safety Training and Injury Prevention for Children

On July 21, 2009, ECMC held the first of three (3) "Camp 9-1-1" events scheduled for 2009.  "Camp 911" is designed to provide children, ages 10 through 13, with an introduction to emergency medical services.  The camp emphasizes safety, injury prevention, bystander care, learning and fun through an enjoyable interactive program. 

Learning opportunities for children include: Vehicle rollover demonstrations by the New York State Police Department to show children what happens in an accident when vehicle occupants do not wear seatbelts; trained "police dog" demonstrations using animals trained for the Buffalo Police Department by Russ Medina; veterinarian Dr. Susan Mineo with an interactive station on how to care for pets; rooftop helipad tour with MercyFlight helicopter; observation of emergency care and tour of the ECMC Emergency Department guided by Karen Beckman, RN, MSN, including ultrasound demonstrations by Dr. Kerry Cassel; practicing CPR, bystander care; touring a Rural Metro ambulance; Internet safety lecture given by Vanita Evans from the Buffalo FBI office; observation of preserved/diseased organs by ECMC Pathology Department Director Dr. James Woytash; and competing in a safety obstacle course. 

Camp 9-1-1 is sponsored/funded by the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Department of Emergency Medicine.  Interest in the "Camps" has been growing each year for the past nine years. 

ECMC Offers Therapies for individuals with Lower Back Pain or Balance Problems

ECMC Corporation now provides therapies for individuals suffering from Lower Back Pain (LBP) and those with balance problems.  LBP and Balance Clinic services are provided through ECMC's Department of Rehabilitation. 

With years of training and expertise, Lower Back Pain Clinic specialists at ECMC give professional advice on how to manage symptoms.  The LBP specialists determine if the pain is caused by muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bones.  Using advanced techniques including passive treatments such as laser therapy, specific treatment provided by a therapist, and an exercise program to develop muscles; rapidly reversible lower back pain can be controlled, and in some cases completely eliminated. 

The ECMC Balance Clinic staff members have expert training in fall prevention, balance, inner ear, and coordination problems.  ECMC's balance therapists thoroughly evaluate conditions, and help identify which part of the complex balance system is not working as well as it could.  Because the brain integrates many pieces of information in microseconds of time, an examination by skilled professionals can help identify the part(s) of the balance system that are not working well.  Once identified, treatment is prescribed and therapy conducted to improve balance for many individuals. 

UB School of Nursing recognizes two ECMC Registered Nurses with 2009 Distinguished
Preceptor Award

By June 30, 2009, the University at Buffalo School of Nursing had notified two members of ECMC's nursing management team of their selection to receive the University at Buffalo 2009 Distinguished Preceptor Award.  ECMC Unit Managers Margaret "Peggy" Cieri, RN, Rehabilitation (8th Floor, North) and Patricia "Patty" Kiblin, Geriatrics and Medicine (10th Floor, South) were honored by the UB School of Nursing during an awards luncheon on October 8, 2009. 

Nursing managers Peggy Cieri and Patty Kiblin were chosen in 2008 to participate as Clinical Leaders in a Clinical Educational Service Partnership between UB, ECMC, and Kaleida Health.  The focus of this clinical education partnership was to develop a new model for clinical practice.  ECMC nurses became first in the region to serve as active mentors for UB undergraduate nursing students to immerse each student in a hands-on clinical experience.  The initiative included the establishment of two Dedicated Education Units (DEUs) at ECMC.  Within ECMC's DEUs, each designated Clinical Instructor/Teacher mentors two students for one clinical rotation and becomes the students' main instructor with overall guidance from the University.  The objectives of the DEU are to: utilize staff nurses to assist in the clinical competence of undergraduate nursing students; provide clinical education for an increased number of students; assist and support the professional development of staff nurses; and provide a prepared pool of potential resources for workforce recruitment. 

The Dedicated Education Unit concept draws from the experiences of Flinders University in South Australia where the DEU concept was developed.  The University of Portland School of Nursing piloted the model on the West Coast.  The model provides a framework for clinical instruction.  Thinking in terms of "it takes a village to raise new nurses," the DEU model establishes an environment which supports and fosters the clinical education of nursing students.  The program, which began in the fall of 2008, represents the first such effort to pilot the effectiveness of a Dedicated Education Unit in the Western New York healthcare community. 

In a June 16, 2009, award notification letter to the two ECMC Clinical Leaders, UB School of Nursing Dean and Professor Jean K. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, stated, "Congratulations on your selection as...the recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Preceptor Award.  You were selected because you were a key partner in spearheading one of the first DEUs on your Units.  You bring great honor to your colleagues." 

In recent correspondence to Peggy Cieri and Patty Kiblin, ECMC Corporation Senior Vice President of Nursing Bonnie Ann Glica, MS, RN, expressed, "Congratulations on being selected as recipients of the UB School of Nursing Distinguished Preceptor Award(s).  Your selection was notably due to your support and leadership in the development within your departments of the first Dedicated Education Units in this region.   Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the profession of Nursing and to your nursing students, as well as for leading by example." 

Peggy Cieri has been an ECMC nurse since 1994.  Patty Kiblin has been a nurse at ECMC since 1986. 

Thai Visitors to ECMC

Nursing faculty from Thailand's Chulalongkorn University visiting the University at Buffalo School of Nursing toured ECMC to increase their understanding of the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) Model which expands the bedside nurse's role in the clinical preparation of nursing students.  The visiting Dean and Associate Professor Yupin Aungsuroch and Dr. Jintana Yunibhand were provided a tour of the 12th Floor, Zone 3 by Unit Manager Sonya Melvin and Clinical Teacher Lynn Whitehead.  University of Buffalo Clinical Faculty Coordinators of DEU, Professor Clair Meyers and Dr. Mattie Rhodes joined in the tour. 

NYS Crime Victims Board grant enhances Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE)
Center of Excellence at ECMC

On May 15, 2009, ECMC officials, in partnership with the New York State Crime Victims Board and officials from the Erie County area rape crisis counseling provider Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services, announced the further enhancement of the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Center of Excellence at ECMC. 

The New York State Crime Victims Board received $500,000 through a legislative initiative from the state Assembly to provide grants to hospitals, sexual assault and rape crisis centers, and victims' services programs to enhance sexual assault/rape crisis services and increase awareness of those services.  Last fall, ECMC was one of 19 entities to receive funding after a competitive application process.  The grant award to ECMC totaled $33,259 and is funding new equipment and clinician training that allows the medical center to enhance services to sexual assault victims.  A portion of the funds were earmarked to increase public awareness. 

"The Crime Victims Board is proud to support ECMC's Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Center for Excellence," said Tina M. Stanford, chairwoman of the New York State Crime Victims Board.  "Statistics show that only 10 percent of rapes are ever reported to the police.  It is my hope that by supporting and highlighting the important work done at the ECMC and Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services, we will empower sexual assault victims to come forward with the knowledge that they will be treated with dignity, compassion and respect during an extremely difficult and traumatic time."  "The board and its entire staff are committed to supporting these efforts and ensuring that all victims of sexual violence get the assistance they need to rebuild their lives," Chairwoman Stanford added. 

As the Adult Regional Trauma Center, ECMC was the first hospital in Western New York to establish (2004) a SAFE Center of Excellence in the region.  Since then, with each specially trained and certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), ECMC provides skilled and compassionate care to approximately 125 victims of sexual assault annually.  Through the CVB grant funding, ECMC has recently been able to increase its number of trained/certified nurses and purchase the latest equipment used for forensic examination of sexual assault victims.  ECMC has also launched a local campaign to increase awareness of the "SAFE Center of Excellence at ECMC" and the services available to sexual assault victims. 

"We are grateful to the Crime Victims Board for the grant funding to further improve our SAFE Center.  We are proud to partner with Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services to provide vitally important emergency and follow-up care, support and counseling to victims of sexual assault," stated Jody L. Lomeo, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corporation.  "We are also pleased to be able to provide more precise clinical documentation information to be used by our law enforcement and legal partners in these assault cases." 

Also at the news conference, officials dedicated a newly remodeled, SAFE/SANE-equipped emergency exam room in memory of one of ECMC's original Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Sandra A. Kowalewski, RN, SANE-A, who passed away on November 3, 2007.  The dedication comments stated that, "Sandy ‘K' provided high-quality nursing care to our patients and their families.  Sandy was the epitome of an ER nurse.  She held several certifications, including: Advanced Cardiac Life Support for Adults/Pediatrics, Flight Nurse, and Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses.  She was committed to the SANE program, taking and passing the national certification exam while receiving chemotherapy for incurable pancreatic cancer.  Dedicating our SANE room to Sandy is just a small way of giving back to someone who has given so much to ECMC, the Emergency Department, and victims of sexual assault." 

ECMC's Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Center of Excellence provides victims of sexual assault with access to trained staff 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.  The SAFE center works with the community response team [pre-hospital personnel, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, other healthcare providers, social services, counselors, patient advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors/district attorney office] to assist victims of sexual assault by providing medical and forensic exams and other needed services.  ECMC's SAFE center is equipped with advanced technological and forensic equipment that enhances the medical and forensic process. 

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a Registered Nurse with additional specialized training in the care of victims of sexual assault.  The Nurse Examiner provides initial physical and behavioral assessment, clinical specimen and evidence collection, and interventions for victims of sexual assault.  The Nurse Examiner assists in coordinating the provision of emergent/urgent medical evaluation, follow-up care and crisis intervention resources.  This nurse also establishes and maintains clinical and legal records and chain of custody.  In addition, the Nurse Examiner will provide testimony regarding assessment, evidence collection and documentation of findings. 

The benefit of a SAFE center for victims of sexual assault is that the assaulted are offered prophylactic post-exposure treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI), including the HIV post exposure prophylaxis (HIV-PEP) kit, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Immune Globulin, and the option of emergency contraception (EC).  Each victim is given sexual assault literature including comprehensive sexual assault assessment forms, Crime Victims Board claim forms, sexually transmitted disease information, and counseling/advocacy program information.  

The enhanced SAFE Center of Excellence services and facilities further enable ECMC to improve medical, psychosocial, and legal/judicial outcomes for adult victims of sexual assault.  As a result of the CVB grant, ECMC has increased its number of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner candidates and implemented on-call, 24/7 coverage.  

The new equipment has allowed for improved evidence collection for adult victims of sexual assault, who are examined according to New York State guidelines.  The new equipment now in use for forensic examination includes: a video-path colposcope, an imaging management system and digital camera with docking station to document injuries for prosecution; an ABO ruler to document the severity of bites and wounds for prosecution purposes; a Woods Lamp/UV Light Source to visualize semen proteins; a GYN Exam Cart with stirrups to improve victim comfort and facilitate examination; and a portable equipment cart to improve response time and operational efficiency.  Other enhancements allow for improved victim response and comfort. 

The CVB grant also has funded the development of ECMC SAFE Center awareness messages to be included on billboards, posters/flyers and informational brochures.  ECMC staff members have begun to educate clinicians from other organizations about sexual assault and ways to increase patient awareness to dispel myths and encourage reporting of sexual assault.  ECMC staff members have also begun to conduct outreach efforts about sexual assault and the availability of forensic examination and victim support by working with community health centers serving underserved areas and networking at churches and during community events.  At the end of this school year and at the beginning of the next school year, billboards with the SAFE Center awareness message will be located/reserved near colleges/universities and nightclubs, in an effort to reach vulnerable populations. 

ECMC clinicians are also working with the Rape Crisis Advisory Committee which is an interdisciplinary task force developed to establish a coordinated community response to sexual assault to conduct outreach events with area colleges, including the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, D'Youville College, and Medaille College. 

Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB)

TCAB is a strategic way for staff members to Transform Care at the Bedside.  TCAB is designed to empower unit staff members to create work processes that will result in improved clinical outcomes at the bedside.  Healthcare organizations nationwide face many challenges with retaining their nurses and increasing staff satisfaction.  Organizations that have been most successful in addressing these challenges have empowered their staff to bring creativity and innovation to their daily tasks. 

ECMC's plan is to take small steps that create an enormous positive impact on patient care.  Creative and effective changes are best made by the staff members who are responsible for the operations of direct patient care.  At ECMC, nursing staff members are in the position to serve as key innovators of how care is delivered at the bedside. 

ECMC joined the TCAB program, having received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, afforded by the efforts of Bonnie Ann Glica, RN, MS, Sr. Vice President of Nursing.  The 12th Floor, Zone 3 was chosen as the pilot unit to take on this challenge. 

In taking on the TCAB initiative, the first steps included: addressing the increased incidence of pressure ulcers; improving communication between the nurse and patient; and improving overall staff morale. 

After piloting four different positioning devices, the team of the 12th Floor, Zone 3 adopted two: a wedge and a bean bag roll that are now stocked on the unit at all times.  Like most of the hospital staff, the staff members on this unit were using pillows or rolled blankets to turn and position complete care patients.  The results speak for themselves.  The 12th Floor, Zone 3 Unit has had zero pressure ulcers for the months of March, April and May. 

Next, the staff members decided to improve communication between patients by standardizing the information on the white boards in all patient rooms.  On each white board for each patient, now included is: the date, attending physician, nurse's name, diet, and any upcoming tests.  This has proven to be an effective tool in improving communication with, not only patients, but their families as well.  The pioneers for TCAB stress that communication is the key element to introducing and producing effective innovations.  All levels of staff are key players.  Communication has to be the priority. 

ECMC's ultimate goal is to create an environment that stimulates and encourages staff throughout the whole hospital to continuously think about and test new and efficient ways to improve patient care and staff satisfaction.  Staff members are constantly looking for suggestions of ways to make improvements. 

ECMC President/COO Mark Barabas presents Quality Improvement Initiatives/Successes during NHQC Forum

As a program speaker, ECMC Corporation President and Chief Operating Office Mark C. Barabas, D.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., presented on the topic "Quality Implications for Western New York" during the Niagara Health Quality Coalition (NHQC) forum "Collaborating to Improve Quality and Safety Region-wide" held on May 7, 2009. 

Mark Barabas is a mission-driven senior healthcare executive with over 30 years of comprehensive health care experience, specializing in operations, the regulatory approval process, and hospital accreditation.  At ECMC he has worked on numerous initiatives including preparation for the joint commission review.  He also works extensively addressing length of stay issues across all services and serves as a consultant and accreditation inspector at hospitals across the country. 

In his presentation to the NHQC, Mark Barabas outlined ECMC's Quality Care initiatives beginning with Internal Assessment and Benchmarking.  He discussed ECMC's clinical/educational programs, and ECMC's support system, entirely re-designed to further improve quality.  Barabas stressed the importance of uniform reporting and emphasized the problems with poor documentation that can lead to false conclusions, especially when evaluating the new CMS Present On Admission Measures


Mark Barabas outlined the action items involved in the reduction/elimination of pressure ulcer cases including: the establishment of a multidisciplinary PI team, the education of nurses and physicians in prevention, identification, documentation and treatment; the development of "wound champions" on each unit; the hiring of a dedicated wound care nurse practitioner; and the $3.4 million investment in new hospital beds built to reduce pressure ulcers.  He also recognized ECMC's participation in the VHA's data initiatives as providing baseline measures as a starting point.  The VHA is ECMC's group purchasing organization which, in addition to providing purchasing discounts, also provides hospitals with assistance in complying with new regulatory standards, like the CMS Never Events.

"Our participation in the VHA data initiatives has allowed us to hit the ground running," said Barabas. 

Mark Barabas also announced that ECMC was selected as one of seven hospitals in "Cohort #1" out of 16 hospitals nationally for the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Collaborative Aligning Forces for Quality, Transforming Care at the Bedside.  This initiative engages and empowers nurses and other front-line staff to improve quality on medical/surgical units to improve outcomes, increase direct patient care time, redesign work flow and share best practices.  The collaborative measures incidences of pressure ulcers and patient injuries.  The result is improved patient outcomes. 

Mark Barabas also emphasized the fact that, at ECMC, nursing and clinical leaders have accepted the challenge to manage the "never event" process and implement change with the goal of eliminating pressure ulcer/injury cases.  "It is a huge accomplishment for our hospital to be chosen as one of 16 nationally to participate in the RWJ Collaborative," explained Barabas. 

ECMC Dental Department Offers Training and Treatment

Recently, the Department of Dentistry was awarded a Health and Human Services grant of $1.3 million.  Through a program targeting hospital-based treatment in underserved areas, this grant allows for a renovation of the clinic, new equipment, and a larger cohort of residents in order to serve more patients.  A new software system will enable an electronic dental record and digital radiography.  This will allow the department to parallel the medical center's digital medical records and PACS system. 

ECMC dental residents serve the community in many ways.  Each week, dental residents care for patients residing at the Erie County Home, even treating patients who are unable to recline in a dental chair.  They are also members of the regional emergency preparedness team involved in disaster planning and response. 

ECMC has long been at the forefront of training for dental residents, recent graduates from dental school, who have received their DDS or DMD degree and gain experience treating a wide range of dental and mouth problems at the medical center's dental clinic.  Just three years ago, New York became only the second state (after Delaware) to require this postgraduate year in order to practice dentistry.  While medical residencies have been generally required in the U.S. since the 1930s, the importance of dental residencies is also now being recognized nationally.  Yet there has always been a dental department and a dental service at ECMC, according to Catherine M. Gogan, DDS, Residency Director, and Clinical Director of the Department of Dentistry.  Formerly known as the dental intern program, the postgraduate year is now a general practice residency in dentistry. 

 "Our doctors walk in the door being able to continue patient care," says Dr. Gogan.  "They already have three to four years of being able to restore teeth and perhaps two years experience taking out teeth and making dentures.  Dental students know what the materials and techniques are, and have spent time learning about gum disease, how to make a denture, a partial, crowns, and bridges.  But they're very closely guided by faculty members at school.  They're not allowed to do a lot of independent decision making and that's what our residency year offers." 

The patients treated by residents at the dental department comprise two general groups: scheduled or comprehensive care patients; and urgent or emergency patients.  The scheduled patients all receive a thorough oral examination, which may include x-rays or biopsies in the event of any abnormality.  Residents see eight comprehensive care patients each day and are also available for rotations to treat emergency care patients. 

"There's always someone on urgent care treating patients who are coming in with pain, trauma, or a chipped tooth," says Dr. Charles Dibble, a resident in this year's cohort.  "Every day, a resident is treating someone with facial swelling or pain from trauma in addition to our regular patients coming in for dentures, root canals, fillings, and implants. At least half the patients we see are emergency cases.  In private practice, you're not going to see as many difficult cases as this.  So it enables you to get a thorough understanding of how to treat patients in this condition."

About 10,000 people are treated each year at the dental department, many of them patients with limited finances who might not otherwise be able to afford dental care.  Thus the clinic serves as both training for the residents and as a valuable treatment resource for the community.  While residents examine, evaluate, and treat patients, they are also supervised and guided by general dentists and specialists to gain valuable feedback and assure professional growth.  In addition, the residents do rotations in medical departments throughout the hospital and often treat patients referred from those departments. 

ECMC "Takes the Bronze"

SIAA Bronze Award goes to ECMC for Annual Report to the Community 2007-08

Only WNY Healthcare company/service provider to be recognized for this national honor

On May 6, 2009, the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation announced that it had recently received notification from the Service Industry Advertising Awards (SIAA) that ECMC and its contracted graphic design firm Eberle-Sciandra won the organization's Bronze Award for the ECMC Corporation "Annual Report to the Community 2007-2008" during the Sixth Annual SIAA Awards. 

SIAA recognizes the creativity and communication accomplishments of the service industry.  It is the only advertising awards to specifically recognize the achievements of the service industry.  Nearly 1,200 entries were received in this year's awards.  A national panel of judges evaluated and rated entries in twelve groups and twenty-seven categories including: execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal, and overall break through advertising content.  The judges awarded 184 Gold Awards, 112 Silver Awards, as well as 83 Bronze Awards. 

The vision for ECMC's "Annual Report to the Community 2007-08" was provided by ECMC Corporation senior vice president Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D.  ECMC Corporation director of public relations and communications Joseph B. Cirillo managed the project and functioned as editor and contributing writer.  Designed by art director Joseph Sciandra and written by copywriter Philip Nyhuis of ECMC's contracted design firm Eberle-Sciandra (Buffalo, NY) , the report highlighted ECMC health care services by featuring patient stories/testimonials and medical staff members involved in their care and depicting clinical staff and patients with photographs by Bob Wagoner of Wagoner Photography (Elma, NY).  The report was printed by United Graphics (Buffalo, NY). 

ECMC Opens Renovated 12th Floor Surgical Wing

Space improved so surgical patients have more modern facilities

On May 4, 2009, Erie County Medical Center opened a refurbished surgical wing on the 12th Floor of the Grider Street hospital that adds improved in-patient care rooms for 20 patients. 

The project, which cost $722,532, updates Life Safety Code requirements to further enhance the safety of patients, staff and visitors. 

"The reconstruction of one of our key hospital surgical wings brings this part of the hospital up to the latest medical standards," said Jody L. Lomeo, ECMC's CEO.  "Patients, doctors, nurses and staff will have the best-possible care and workplace conditions and experience." 

The project was paid for with cash from operations and does not carry any debt financing. 


It added hand-washing sinks in corridors and at nurses' stations to reduce infection risk; it added more sprinklers and increased the number of smoke detectors; the work improved ventilation, replaced drain lines and coordinated flow switches on the sprinkler system to tie them in to the fire alarm system. 

This addition comes shortly after ECMC received the Society of Chest Pain Centers' national accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with a percutaneous cardiac intervention (PCI) designation, just the fifth such hospital in New York State. ECMC became the 250th accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI designation in the nation, out of 5,759 hospitals.  Also, in late April, ECMC became only the region's fifth Designated Stroke Center, a medical, financial and patient benefit in a county that has the most stroke deaths statewide.  

Three ECMC professionals honored during ECMC Lifeline Foundation Springfest 2009

Springfest 2009, Putting on the Ritz, the ECMC Lifeline Foundation's annual black-tie gala, was held on Saturday, May 16, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.  Springfest is the premier fund-raising event conducted each year by the Lifeline Foundation for ECMC Corporation.  Attendance for this 2009 function exceeded 525 medical and community professionals. 

ECMC Lifeline Foundation recognized three outstanding individuals during this annual gala event.  The individuals chosen to be honored for 2009 were: Kevin E. Cichocki, BA, BS, DC, as the Lifeline Chairman's Distinguished Service Honoree; William J. Flynn Jr., MD, as the Distinguished Physician Honoree; and William R. Arnold, RN, as the Distinguished Nursing Honoree

Chairman's Distinguished Service Honoree: Kevin E. Cichocki, BA, BS, DC, Vice-chair and Chief Clinical Officer of Palladian Health, Dr. Cichocki has overseen the development of proprietary clinical care algorithms integrating physical therapy, chiropractic, and physical health and fitness with primary care to eliminate duplication of services and reduce healthcare costs.  As Director (1994) of the New York Chiropractic Group, Dr. Cichocki lead the organization to help create an integrated environment between chiropractic and medical communities within hospitals and in establishing the first in-house, hospital-based chiropractic clinics in the nation. 

As an active ECMC Corporation Board of Directors Member since 1999, Dr. Cichocki supports the performance of the hospital system, ensuring that the institution meets its Public Benefit Corporation mission.  He is Immediate Past-chair of the ECMC Corporation Board of Directors and currently serves as a Vice-chair.  As board chair, Cichocki was instrumental in turning the hospital around to be fiscally sound.  Cichocki played a key role representing ECMC in negotiations with New York State's Berger Commission and the subsequent merger process with the Kaleida Health System. Dr. Cichocki represents ECMC Corporation as a Board Member of Great Lakes Health System of Western New York, the organization including Kaleida Health and ECMC Corporation created to develop a new model of healthcare delivery for Western New York. 

Dr. Cichocki was Chiropractic Speaker for the Congressional Health Care Reform Forum (1994).  He served as a member of the New York State Chiropractic Association Board of Directors (1996-2000), President (1992-1996), Vice President (1990-1992), and Treasurer (1989-2000).  He has also served as: Staff Chiropractor for the World University Games (1993) and the Empire State Games (1993-2000).  Other professional organizations of which Dr. Cichocki is a member include the: American Chiropractic Association and its Councils on Nutrition and Sports Injury; the Foundation of Chiropractic Education and Research; and the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association. 

Kevin E. Cichocki earned his graduate degree as Doctor of Chiropractic (1986) and an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree (1984) from the National College of Chiropractic, Lombard, Illinois.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Canisius College (1982).  Dr. Cichocki has also gained expertise through post graduate work with the New York Chiropractic College and the National College of Chiropractic in such specialties as: sports injury, radiological diagnostics, nutrition, and in studies of numerous other injuries and illnesses. 

Distinguished Physician Honoree: William J. Flynn Jr., MD, is Associate Professor of Surgery (1999) for the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  Dr. Flynn was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (1991) where he also completed his residency (1989).  Dr. Flynn earned his doctorate from the Northwestern University School of Medicine in (1983).  He received his Master of Sciences degree from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo (1979).  He is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, and Advanced Burn Life Support. 

Dr. Flynn was appointed Clinical Director of Surgery at ECMC.  Prior to this appointment, he served at ECMC as Attending Staff Surgeon (1991) and as the Director of Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU); Assistant Clinical Director of Surgery and Project Planner/Supervisor of the Trauma ICU Renovation Project. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Flynn has earned many accreditations and certifications for his medical knowledge, teaching abilities, and outstanding work ethic, which define both his sense of dedication and the high quality of care that he directs and delivers to ECMC patients.   He is a member of the: New York State Committee on Trauma, American Trauma Society, Buffalo Surgical Society, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Buffalo Academy of Medicine, and various other organizations.  He earned Fellowships as a Trauma Fellow; a Research Fellow; and in Intravital Microscopy Section, University of Louisville (1991).  Dr. Flynn became a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery (1991) and Surgical Critical Care (1992) and a Diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners (1984). 

Distinguished Nursing Honoree: William R. Arnold, Jr., RN, BSN, Nursing Informatics Manager at ECMC has served in this capacity since 2002.  Informatics merges technology and nursing, including new developments in various monitoring systems, automated vital signs equipment, and more efficient medical and administration information.  Health efficiency and patient safety are top priorities for Nurse Arnold at ECMC.  As the only person at ECMC in this position, he is required to understand perspectives of a nurse, a computer analyst, and an administrator.  Bill Arnold is currently working on a bed tracking system for ECMC.  

Bill Arnold consistently demonstrates a passion for healthcare and a solid work ethic.  Having an affinity for medicine, Bill Arnold graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from D'Youville College (1981).  With 25 years of his 30 year career in Critical Care, he gained valuable knowledge and experience working in such a highly active environment.  This background prepared him for ECMC's fast-paced environment. 

Before joining ECMC, Bill Arnold served as a staff nurse and a unit manager in various area hospitals.  He also served in the Air Force Reserves for five years as a flight nurse.  Flight nurses aid in combat transports and go into the field to take wounded soldiers back to safety. 

ECMC Opens Doors as Designated Stroke Center

24/7 facility, with two CT scanners, is fully certified for stroke care

On April 30, 2009, ECMC announced that New York State had approved Erie County Medical Center as only the region's fifth Designated Stroke Center, a medical, financial and patient benefit in a county that has the most stroke deaths statewide. 

The medical center's application for the stroke designation listed benefits already realized for stroke patients receiving care at ECMC, and projected others, including: improved efficiency of patient care; faster evaluation and treatment of acute stroke patients leading to better outcomes; improved patient treatment times; better patient outcomes due to appropriate protocols and guidelines; fewer stroke-related complications; decreased patient length of stay; higher patient survival rates; improved long-term outcomes; services to reduce patient disability; and increased patient satisfaction.  Additionally, ECMC's stroke program will continue to work closely with the Stroke Center at Millard Fillmore Gates for patients that require alternative stroke care. 

Cost savings to ECMC and the Western New York community will also result from reduced patient lengths of stay and initiation of treatments for secondary prevention, reducing the risk of future hospital admissions.  Since Erie County has more stroke deaths than any other county in New York State, this program is particularly needed in this region. 

"ECMC and its stroke team are justifiably proud of this designation," said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo.  "What's especially positive is that ECMC and the Western New York community need not expend additional funds to meet the requirements for the stroke center designation, since ECMC already has the medical staff, radiological equipment, and surgical team to implement this program.  This is purely for the patients' benefit." 

The state Health Commissioner established Designated Stroke Centers statewide to improve treatment standards and access to high-quality care for patients with a presumptive diagnosis of stroke. 

Other designated stroke hospitals in Erie County are Kenmore Mercy, South Buffalo Mercy, Millard Fillmore, Gates Circle and Sisters of Charity hospitals. Statewide, there are 114 other hospitals with the designation, out of 289 total hospitals. 

This was at the time the second elite medical designation for ECMC in recent weeks, having announced the previous month it received the Society of Chest Pain Centers' national accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with a percutaneous cardiac intervention (PCI) designation, just the fifth such hospital in New York State. ECMC became the 250th accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI designation in the nation, out of 5,759 hospitals. 

On Dec. 11, 2008, the State Hospital Review and Planning Council of the Health Department informed ECMC officials that the application for ECMC to become a Designated Stroke Center was initially approved, pending a site review and some final steps in the process to be conducted by the DOH over the next few months. 

In 1995, Dr. Michael A. Meyer, chief of Neurology and Stroke Services at ECMC, co-authored a landmark paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine on a new and aggressive approach to acute stroke that utilized a clot-busting medication, tPA, drawing attention to ECMC's expertise. 

"I am very pleased to see that the Health Department adopted the recommendations from this important study," said Dr. Meyer, who is also Professor of Clinical Neurology and Nuclear Medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.  "In so doing, the Health Department is taking a strong role in developing a statewide program for acute stroke." 

"I am also pleased that the state approved ECMC's application as a Designated Stroke Center.  As a 24/7 Adult Regional Trauma Center, ECMC has already been caring for many patients requiring stroke care." 

The ECMC 24/7 Stroke Team includes physicians from multiple specialties.  Qualified Emergency Department physicians, having received training and certification to perform National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale evaluations, are members of the acute stroke team. Constant stroke patient medical coverage is provided by neurology residents and staff at ECMC. Stroke Program Coordinator Paula Quesinberry, RN, oversees patient care services and community education. 

ECMC also operates an out-patient neurology clinic for stroke-related evaluations. 

The ECMC facility was already well equipped to provide stroke evaluation and care.  Immediately adjacent to the large 29-bed ECMC Emergency Department, equipped for urgent care, is a 64-slice digital imaging scanner for rapid CT angiography of the brain and neck vessels. 

With the recent installation and utilization of a second 64-slice digital imaging scanner, ECMC has the ability to evaluate and treat stroke patients in an optimal setting.   

ECMC is able to acquire enhanced images from the 64-slice scanners to assemble and render complete three-dimensional images of arteries and veins of the brain that can be interactively rotated for viewing from any virtual vantage point. 

In addition to applications to evaluate stroke patients, the two 64-slice scanners are also available continuously for high throughput trauma and cardiac imaging. 

"The ECMC Stroke Team is unique in its routine use of interactive, three-dimensional image processing for not only CT, but also MRI images.  These can enhance diagnosis and subsequent treatment planning for patients with stroke-related problems," Dr. Meyer said.  

ECMC presents donation to Good Neighbors/Harvest House

On April 21, 2009, Board of Director Chair Sharon L. Hanson and CEO Jody L. Lomeo announced that, on behalf of ECMC Corporation, they presented a donation of $8,673 to Good Neighbors/Harvest House.  The check was accepted by Good Neighbors/Harvest House co-founders Gary Tatu and Linda Tatu and Director Kathy Armenat.  The recipients expressed thanks to Ms. Hanson and Mr. Lomeo for the generous contribution to their organization from ECMC Corporation." 

In 1993, Gary and Linda Tatu purchased the former South Presbyterian church and Sunday school building located at 1782 Seneca Street in Buffalo.  They renovated and transformed the buildings into a Baby and Children's Ministry and Christian Retreat Center now called Harvest House.  A few years later, they purchased another facility, located at 175 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, now known as Good Neighbors Health Care, "...to help serve the people in an underserved community with all of the services that could help them build a better life."  Currently, the Good Neighbors center offers educational and computer classes as well as free legal advice.  The center began as a free medical clinic for the uninsured.  Many generous people not only brought together Good Neighbors and Harvest House, but also captured the vision for a free health center and energetically moved it into fruition.  Plans are in place to expand the services of Good Neighbors to include mental health, physical and occupational care, exercise classes and other health services.  For information about Harvest House, log-on to: www.harvesthouse.ws.  To learn more about Good Neighbors, see: ww.GNHCBuffalo.org. 

ECMC Community Outreach at Buffalo Wellfest

ECMC was a Silver Sponsor for the Buffalo Wellfest on April 17th and 18th, 2009 at the Statler Towers Golden Ballroom & Terrace Room.  Rita Hubbard-Robinson, along with several ECMC staff members, medical residents, interns and doctors volunteered to work at the booth and make health related presentations at the event.  The presentations offered included: Pediatric Educational and Diagnostic Services, Drug abuse (Alcohol and Other Drugs); an American Epidemic; What is high blood pressure and what should you do about it?; and Diabetes Prevention.

ECMC provided nearly 500 individuals with health related material, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screening, consultation on the Pediatric Educational and Diagnostic Services, and Stroke Center, and the ECMC "green-friendly" shopping bags. 

Participants included: Jocelyn Massaro, PT, DPT; Jeffrey L. Anker, MD; Joseph L. Izzo, Jr., MD; John R. Fudyma, MD; Norman McCulloch, MD, MBA; Vicky Moe, MD (Resident); Leanne Shed (intern); and Paula Quesinberry, RN, BSN. 





ECMC Youth Career Day at Science Museum

Opportunity for Buffalo seventh graders to learn about health careers

On March 31, 2009, Erie County Medical Center teamed up with the Buffalo Public Schools and the Buffalo Museum of Science to introduce more than 200 seventh graders to careers in health care. 

The "Healthcare Professions Conference for 7th Graders," ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and featured introductory remarks from Dr. James A. Williams, Buffalo superintendent of schools. 

Mark Mortenson, president and CEO, Buffalo Museum of Science, and Rita Hubbard-Robinson, corporate training director at ECMC coordinated the program that involved students from eight schools. 

The symposium involved professionals from ECMC in nursing, cardiovascular services, surgical technology, radiology, rehabilitation medicine, adolescent medicine, internal medicine, and hospital administration. D'Youville College, Erie Community College, Trocaire College, Rural Metro Medical Services and the Regional Resource Center for Emergency Preparedness of Western New York at ECMC provided hands-on activities about healthcare careers. 

"The financial future of the Buffalo region will rely on three fields: education, finance, and health care.  It is critical to create important partnerships with healthcare providers like ECMC to prepare Buffalo Public School students to start careers in healthcare," said Dr. Williams. "We need to reach out to as many students as possible at a young age to introduce them to the incredible opportunities before them in an expanding and lucrative field. I am proud of this partnership and look forward to introducing the children of Buffalo to the possibilities of pursuing lucrative positions and careers in the healthcare industry." 

Featured in the programs are Karen Ziemianski, ECMC's assistant director of nursing and Cheryl Nicosia, nurse clinician; Jacqueline Blackley, vice president of cardiovascular services; James Turner, VP of surgical services and Jeremy Hoover, administrative assistant for surgical services; Rose Marie Nadolinski, a senior radiologic technologist; Angela Duell, occupational therapy, Stacey Lenhard, physical therapy, and Heather D'Errico, speech therapy. 

"ECMC is happy to provide this educational community service.  Offering 12-year-olds a window into their future is important to their development and creates a truer vision of possibilities for success," said Ms. Hubbard-Robinson. "We hope that this conference, exposing youth to hands-on activities, will give them the ‘aha' moment that says ‘I can do this, I can be a nurse or a surgical technician.' We want the youth participating in this conference to dream big dreams." 

The students were offered eight 15-minute break-out sessions with interactive aspects at the Science Museum. Lunch followed these, with keynote speakers Dr. Jonathan Daniels, adolescent medicine; Dr. Olga Klinkova, a second-year resident in internal medicine; and Dr. Norman McCullough, assistant to the president at ECMC. 

"The Buffalo Museum of Science is thrilled to partner with ECMC on this event," said Mortenson.  "This helps to showcase the science that is happening in our city and region and helps to increase awareness for the students about the educational preparation needed to pursue careers in the sciences." 

Also involved is Dr. Denise Brylinski, a D'Youville chemistry professor; Pati Aine Guzinski, coordinator of the emergency preparedness center at ECMC; Rob Kasper, education coordinator, and Patrick Reagan, marketing coordinator, at Rural/Metro Medical Services; Linda Kerwin, Trocaire's program director of peri-operative nursing and surgical technology; and from ECC, Marcia Bermel, medical lab technology professor, Coleen Clark, Tim McQuade, Pamela Simmeth, nursing department instructors, and Marvin Herman, dental lab technology professor. 

"This collaboration between the Buffalo Museum of Science, local colleges and healthcare agencies, and the Buffalo Public Schools is exciting," Hubbard-Robinson said.  "The 7th graders of today are the workforce of tomorrow.  The decisions that they make to stay in school, stay on task and excel in math and science, and plan for a successful career in healthcare, will keep the workforce plentiful and individuals employed in lucrative careers.  ECMC looks to do more to educate youth about the 300-plus job opportunities in hospitals and healthcare." 

ECMC Receives Chest Pain Society Accreditation

Second WNY hospital, just fifth statewide, to gain national designation

On March 23, 2009, Erie County Medical Center announced it received the Society of Chest Pain Centers' national accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with a percutaneous cardiac intervention (PCI) designation, just the fifth such hospital in New York State. 

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease.  More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. 

ECMC also became the 250th accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI designation in the nation, out of 5,759 hospitals.  ECMC's accreditation is good until March 15, 2012. 

"Providing rapid assessment of patients with chest pain and heart attacks fits in well with our longstanding trauma center designation and mind set.  Receiving the accreditation verifies our excellent team approach to this patient population," said Michael Manka, M.D., Emergency Department Director, at ECMC. 

"This rare, national designation is testimony first to the excellent heart attack care patients coming to ECMC receive, but also to the team - from the EMTs and physicians in outlying communities to the ECMC's emergency physicians, cardiologists and nurses that work so hard and so effectively to provide superior care," said Jody L. Lomeo, ECMC's CEO. 

PCI is the technical name for angioplasty, the process of clearing a blocked or narrowed coronary artery that could lead to a heart attack.  In an angioplasty, an interventional cardiologist threads a probe, typically entering through the leg or shoulder, to clean out or suppress the arterial blockage.  Studies show this method to be at least as effective as a coronary artery bypass graft, a surgical technique that essentially creates a route around the blockage.  Narrowing or blockage is usually caused by cholesterol-laden plaques that form due to atherosclerosis. 

The goal of the accreditation agency, the Society of Chest Pain Centers, is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of that treatment. 

The Columbus, Ohio-based society's accreditation process ensures hospitals meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.  The accreditation process includes on-site evaluations by a review team from the society. 

The criteria for accreditation include the following: Emergency Department integration with the Emergency Medical System; Emergency assessment of patients with symptoms, timely diagnosis and treatment; Assessment of patients with low risk, and no assignable cause for their symptoms; Process improvement; Personnel, competencies, and training; Organizational structure and commitment; Functional facility design; Community outreach. 

The Chest Pain Center's protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether they are having a coronary event.  Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted. 

With the rise of Chest Pain Centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients.  The society's accreditation process insures centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine. 

The Chest Pain Center at ECMC demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. 

In New York State, ECMC joins its Great Lakes Health System partner, Buffalo General Hospital, and three in the New York City-Long Island region with the PCI designation.  Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Williamsville is accredited as well, but not with the PCI designation. 

The society's approach to Chest Pain Center Accreditation is radically different from other certification processes that set specifications and then measure compliance.  In contrast to more traditional certification models, its Accreditation Review Specialists are collaborative and provide feedback, education and resources to assist the facility in addressing gaps and improving processes.  If facilities are successful in improving the care of the ACS patient, it supports the mission to reduce heart attack deaths. 

ECMC Echocardiograhy Laboratory Accredited

On February 18, 2009, ECMC announced that its Echocardiography Laboratory was granted accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).  The laboratory is one of the first one thousand echocardiography laboratories in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to be so recognized for its commitment to high quality patient care and its provision of quality diagnostic testing. 

The ICAEL was established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE) to provide a peer review mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality echocardiographic diagnostic evaluations by a process of voluntary accreditation. A non-profit organization, the ICAEL is dedicated to ensuring high quality patient care and to promoting health care. 



Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary. Accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency which recognizes the laboratory's commitment to quality testing for the diagnosis of heart disease. 

One American dies every 32 seconds of cardiovascular disease, disorders of the heart and blood vessels.  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, costing society over 83.7 billion dollars each year in health services, medications and lost work time due to disability.  Cardiac structure and flow information provided by echocardiographic testing is useful in the detection and management of many types of heart disease.  This noninvasive test has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology with an estimated 10 million echocardiograms performed annually in the United States.  Echocardiography is a complex imaging technique that relies on the experience and training of both the physician and sonographer.  Their interpretive and technical abilities determine the diagnostic accuracy of an echocardiographic examination.  The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) has developed an accreditation program which evaluates the quality of these and other critical elements of an echocardiography laboratory. 


ECMC one of only two area hospitals selected to participate in National Quality Improvement Collaborative

Nurses from ECMC and Medina will develop innovations to improve quality of care.  Program is part of effort to align local forces for improved health care quality.

The P2 Collaborative of Western New York announced that Erie County Medical Center and Medina Memorial Health Care System have been selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to participate in a new effort to improve the quality of care in hospitals.  The program will help nurses and other frontline staff members identify, test and implement changes that will improve the quality and safety of patient care in their medical and surgical units. 

The program is part of RWJF's Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative, a cornerstone of the Foundation's $300 million commitment to improving quality in specific regions across the United States.  The P2 Collaborative coordinates local efforts for the program.  Western New York was selected last year as one of 14 AF4Q communities nationwide. 

The new nurse-led program is based on successful pilot efforts by the Foundation to transform care at the bedside, by making hospital staff that spends the most time directly caring for patients the key drivers of quality improvement.  Hospitals that have already participated in the program report a cultural shift on their medical-surgical units that has produced better clinical outcomes, more time spent with patients by staff, and lower turnover of nursing jobs. 

"We know that the quality of health care can be improved in every community in the nation, and the more people who get involved, the more likely we are to succeed," said Shelley Hirshberg, executive director of the P2 Collaborative.  "Having local hospital leaders involved in our efforts is an important part of our strategy to improving quality of care.  Not only will they learn new ways to improve care in our community, but they will be sharing what works in our community with other hospitals around the nation that need our insights." 

Experts say the effort to transform care at the bedside is unusual in its focus on engaging nurses and other frontline staff to develop and lead the quality improvement efforts.  Ideas for improving care come not from the hospitals executives, but from the nurses who treat patients every day.  Nurse-led teams identify where change is needed on their unit, suggest and test potential solutions, and decide whether and how those innovations should be implemented. 

"Because they spend so much of their day with patients and their families, our nurses are in unique positions to know exactly how quality can be enhanced from both the clinical and operational perspectives," said Bonnie Ann Glica, RN, MS, senior vice president of nursing for Erie County Medical Center Corporation.  "Nothing is more important than high-quality care and I'm glad our team was selected to be part of this effort." 

Led by RWJF, the TCAB Collaborative will be overseen by The Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services, which serves as the national program office for the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative.  Technical assistance will be provided by the American Organization of Nurse Executives.  The Institute for Healthcare Improvement will convene training workshops for participants.  The first cohort is in process and the second cohort launches fall of 2009. 

In every region involved in the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative including Western New


York, broad-based teams of people who get care, give care, and pay for care are working together to improve healthcare quality.  By aligning people from across the community in different AF4Q initiatives, the P2 Collaborative hopes to help achieve community-wide transformation of health care. 

ECMC presents the Fourth Annual Dr. Rakesh Bidani DVT Educational Symposium

Walking through the Continuum of Care

The symposium held at ECMC on March 13, 2009, was an educational program on Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT prevention and patient safety with anticoagulation, featuring a panel discussion.  On the panel was moderator Dr. Regina Makdissi, Internal Medicine; Dr. Christopher Mutty, Orthopaedic Surgery; Dr. James Czyrny, Rehabilitation Medicine; Dr. Gerald Logue; Coumadin Clinic Staff; and Sue Ksiazek, Clinical Pharmacist. 

The panel and audience members followed a case from admission to discharge looking at possible complications, risks and benefits involved in following DVT protocols. 

Sharon L. Hanson Named Chair of ECMCC Board

First woman, first African-American to lead regional hospital's directors

On January 29, 2009, the Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) board of directors elected Sharon L. Hanson, a 12-year board member, its new chair. 

The board's decision made Ms. Hanson, manager of government affairs for Time Warner Cable in Buffalo, the first woman to lead the 12-person board, as well as the first African-American. 

Ms. Hanson served on the ECMCC board of directors and the former board of managers since 1996.  During that time, Ms. Hanson chaired the board's Human Resources, Building and Grounds, and Performance Improvement committees; she also served on the Executive, Executive Compensation and Governance committees. Ms. Hanson is also a member of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board of Directors. 

"I am honored to serve as chair of this wonderful hospital board, which does so much for the Buffalo community," Ms. Hanson said. "Working with our new CEO, Jody Lomeo, and the other board members, the doctors, nurses and staff at ECMC, I know that we will continue to grow this hospital and make it a strong partner with Kaleida Health in our new Great Lakes Health System." 

Other board officers formally elected during the meeting include: vice-presidents Kevin Cichocki D.C., CEO of Palladium Health Care, and Kevin Hogan, a partner at Phillips, Lytle; Michael A. Seaman, City of Buffalo Director of Treasury and Collections, as treasurer; Bethesda World Harvest International Church Bishop Michael A. Badger as secretary; ECMCC Chief Financial Officer Sue J. McCarthy as assistant treasurer; and Patricia M. Grasha as assistant secretary.  The board also affirmed Jody L. Lomeo's appointment as chief executive officer. 

NYS-DOH gives ECMC Initial Approval to add Chronic Renal Dialysis Stations

On January 22, 2009, Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) announced that the New York State Department of Health (NYS-DOH) recently gave "initial approval" to ECMCC to allow conversion of four (4) acute renal dialysis stations to chronic renal dialysis stations, pending final steps in the approval process (later approved in full). 

ECMC currently operates fourteen (14) dialysis stations within the medical center.  Ten (10) stations are approved to operate as chronic renal dialysis stations.  Four (4) are designated as acute renal dialysis stations.  The ten (10) chronic stations are currently at maximum capacity. 

To respond to the increased demand to serve chronic renal dialysis patients, ECMC applied to the NYS-DOH for authorization to certify four (4) additional chronic renal dialysis stations to provide services for emergency referrals of patients requiring dialysis. 

Jody L. Lomeo Named New ECMC Corp. CEO

ECMC President Mark Barabas continues as hospital COO

On January 9, 2009, the Board of Directors of the Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) announced the appointment of Jody L. Lomeo as the next chief executive officer of the public benefit corporation, which is now part of Great Lakes Health System. 

Mr. Lomeo is a former ECMCC board chairman who five years ago led the search committee that hired Michael A. Young, ECMC's previous CEO. 

Mr. Lomeo, 40, most recently served as vice-chair of the ECMCC board and is also vice-chair of Great Lakes Health System, the board New York State created to combine ECMCC and Kaleida Health.  Since July 2008, Mr. Lomeo served as ECMCC's interim CEO while the corporation board conducted a national search for a new leader. 

The six-month search yielded four semi-finalists from outside Buffalo and a fifth semi-finalist, Mark C. Barabas, ECMCC's current president and chief operating officer.  He agreed to continue as president and COO, responsible for ECMC's day-to-day operations. 

Late last year, the five board members on the search committee initiated the decision to conclude the search process and select Mr. Lomeo.  As ECMCC board members conducted the search process, it became clear that the qualities ECMCC needed in its new arrangement with Great Lakes Health made Mr. Lomeo an ideal choice. 

It also became apparent that it would be difficult for one person to handle the external business of ECMC, relating to Erie County, labor union contract negotiations, the State University of New York at Buffalo and Great Lakes Health, as well as run day-to-day operations. 

After an agreement to form what is now Great Lakes Health was worked out under a judge's direction last summer, a new spirit of cooperation developed.  Immediately after his appointment as interim CEO, Mr. Lomeo made it a priority to normalize relations with ECMCC's new partners, Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health.  Mr. Lomeo took the initiative to create a more conciliatory environment between the two major health care organizations - Kaleida and ECMC - which enhanced the level of cooperation. 

Mr. Lomeo also initiated the dialogue that led to an agreement impacting the 2009 Erie County budget, and continues to be involved in the negotiations to resolve other county-ECMCC issues.  Perhaps most significant, Mr. Lomeo personally led final negotiations that recently resulted in an innovative contract with ECMCC's nurses, the Western Region District of the New York State Nurses Association, who had worked without one since 2005. 

"ECMCC is a different place than it was four years ago when Mike Young took over.  It is financially successful and professionally run," said board and search committee chair Kevin Cichocki, D.C.  "We realized what we needed for ECMC was a leader of change who could build consensus, trust and continue the momentum we have established." 

"Introducing an outside CEO in this environment could have been risky and definitely would have slowed the momentum to create a new health system with Kaleida, Great Lakes Health, UB and Erie County.  In fact, many individuals from these organizations reached out to me to ask if we could get Jody to stay," Cichocki continued. 

"I am most gratified for the opportunity, for the support of the ECMCC board, and especially for the encouragement and backing of the leaders of Kaleida, UB and Great Lakes.  We disagree on some things, and they know that I will be a forceful advocate for ECMCC going forward.  But they also know that patience, compromise and collaboration are the tools we all need to use to improve this community's health care systems.  And I pledge to everyone that those will be my main tools." 

Mr. Lomeo, first appointed by former Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra in 2001, initially served on the ECMC Board of Managers before becoming the first chair of the Board of Directors of the public benefit corporation. 

He received his B.S. degree in finance from the University at Buffalo after two years at Fordham University in the Bronx.  He is an active alumnus of St. Joseph Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, and a member of its board of trustees.  

Mr. Lomeo is also a board member of the U.S. Small Business Administration Buffalo District Advisory Council and is involved in many other organizations and charities throughout Western New York.  Mr. Lomeo, a Business First 40 Under 40 honoree in 2007, was born and raised in Buffalo and lives in East Amherst with his wife Mary and their three sons. 

"I would not take this position if I didn't feel the stars are lining up and we can make real progress in reforming health care delivery in Western New York," Mr. Lomeo said. "I don't know if it will take two years, or five years, but together with everyone involved, we will greatly improve health and hospitals in this region." 

Sharon Hanson, ECMCC (then) board vice-chair (now chair) and search committee member, said that the logic of selecting Mr. Lomeo became obvious because he made so much progress in a short time on previously intractable issues. 

"I know that Jody shares my great love and respect for this institution.  But beyond that, Jody got results that defied everyone's expectations, when he was supposedly only an interim caretaker.  He has built relationships with all our partners, constituencies and outside leaders, and has already earned the professional respect of our doctors, nurses and staff," she said. 

Robert Gioia, board chair of Great Lakes Health, and James Kaskie, CEO of Kaleida and Great Lakes Health, have worked closely with Mr. Lomeo for more than a year. 

"Jody stands out as a bridge builder.  Now that we are colleagues, and from what I've seen in the last six months, I think Jody is an ideal choice to lead ECMCC into the region's health care future.  I look forward to continuing to work together and building upon the momentum we have created with Great Lakes Health," Mr. Kaskie said. 

"Jody Lomeo is the right person, at the right time, for this job.  He brings experience, but also a fresh perspective and a commitment to make a real difference in this community," said Mr. Gioia, a search committee member.  "There's been much talk, and now progress, about improving health care delivery in Western New York.  I truly believe Jody is the ideal person to lead and build relationships for ECMCC that will ensure that the whole ECMC team is a crucial component of this effort." 

Mr. Barabas [pronounced BEAR-a-bus] has more than 20 years of experience as a senior health care executive.  Before coming to ECMC in 2007, he was CEO of Mercy Suburban Hospital in East Norriton, PA for three years, and chief operating officer there from 2000-2003.  From 1993-1999, he was CEO of Community Hospital of Lancaster in Lancaster, PA.  Barabas, 55, also worked at a hospital in Youngstown, OH, and did his administrative residency at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo.  His degrees are from Youngstown State University and the University of Toronto and he is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  

"We are pleased with the appointments of Jody and Mark, because they understand the role physician involvement plays at ECMC and the clinical initiatives that are needed at the physician level," said Dr. Yogesh Bakhai, President of the ECMC medical and dental staff.  "We look forward to working with them, Great Lakes Health and the whole team to make this the best hospital it can be." 

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