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State Approves Two New OR Suites at ECMC - Facilities needed for 10 percent increase
in surgeries in last two years

BUFFALO, NY - Jan. 2, 2012 - Erie County Medical Center today announced that the New York State Department of Health approved its application to open two new operating suites, prepare two additional "shelled" operating rooms for future expansion, and add related recovery and surgical services space.

After final contingencies are met, the operating room expansion will go in the building that presently houses outpatient dialysis for the new Center for Excellence in Transplantation and Kidney Care. The new suites are needed because of a 10 percent increase in ECMC's surgical volume in just two years.

This is specifically related to an increase in emergency room volume; consolidation of all Great Lakes Health's transplantation programs for kidney and pancreas on the ECMC Health Campus; and an increase in surgical volume generated from the hiring and partnering with more than 15 new surgeons and physicians in the last few years. ECMC has also seen significant surgical growth in orthopedics and has started a new division in Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, including head and neck cancer surgery.

"This is yet one more success as we continue to drive our strategic growth plan for the hospital," said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo. "The development on the ECMC Health Campus has accounted for more than $200 million in patient-focused capital improvements and investments in our Grider Street campus in the last few years."

The Center for Excellence in Transplantation and Kidney Care is now entering its second year of operation with close to 100 transplants and next month ECMC will dedicate the new Erie County nursing home, moving it to ECMC from Alden. In recent months, ECMC also expanded its parking and re-designed its front entrance.

"As someone who grew up in the community, I know these projects will improve the care for patients for generations to come," Lomeo added.

The new $103 million, 390-bed nursing home on the ECMC Health Campus on Grider Street, will open in February. It replaces the 80-year-old Erie County nursing home in Alden and combines in one location existing long-term care beds from Alden and ECMC.

The move from Alden to ECMC's Health Campus focuses on providing higher quality, state-of-the-art care for residents. It also moves residents closer to family and increases access to employment for Buffalo and suburban residents while reducing operating costs for ECMC Corp.

The home and the centers of excellence are part of a five-year, $200 million project on ECMC's Health Campus that when complete will provide good-paying jobs and health-focused economic development centered on the Buffalo's East Side. 

The projects, which include demolition now underway of eight buildings on the 65-acre ECMC property, supported hundreds of construction workers' jobs over the last 12-18 months.

Transformation of ECMC's Health Campus, which now has 550 beds and had 63,918 ER visits in 2012, actually began in June 2010. ECMC used $2.9 million to expand its Emergency Department, with eight new trauma exam rooms and two new trauma surgical suites. ECMC is already home to the state's top-rated Adult Regional Trauma Unit.

With an estimated overall economic impact on the region of $750 million, ECMC has not needed any operating subsidy from the county since 2008.


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

Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 -or- jcirillo@ecmc.edu



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