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Buffalo, NY - Sept. 29, 2009 - The New York State Health Department awarded Erie County Medical Center Corp. 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.

MORE ABOUT ERIE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER:

The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 40 outpatient specialty care clinics and the Erie County Home, a skilled nursing facility. ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, rehabilitation and is a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and customer service provided as a result of its Culture of Care. 

NEWS CONTACT: Tom Quatroche at 716-898-5503 or tquatroc@ecmc.edu

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9/29/2009

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