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Buffalo, New York; October 12, 2006-The National Kidney Foundation of Western New York (NKF of WNY) will host its annual Give Life, Give Thanks, Holiday Tree Decorating Ceremony. This event will take place at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation, 426 Grider St., Buffalo, NY 14215, on November 8, 2006, at 6:00 P.M. in the 2nd Floor Cafetorium (adjacent to the Cafeteria). Mistress of Ceremonies will be Lorey Schultz of Channel 4 News.

"The Erie County Medical Center has been a life saving and life changing center for transplant recipients like myself, dialysis patients, families, and all within the renal community," stated Barbara Breckenridge, NFK of WNY Executive Director and kidney transplant recipient. "We are most grateful for the excellent care and services that we continue to receive from the renal department
at ECMC."

This symbolic ceremony will bring 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. This event is free of charge and includes speakers, refreshments, music, and tree decorating.

The National Kidney Foundation of WNY is a not-for-profit voluntary health agency dedicated to the prevention and eradication of kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected with kidney disease, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the NKF of WNY at 835-1323 for more information.

Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation manages a leading Western New York End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program. Services provided through the ECMC ESRD program include hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (two types of blood cleansing methods), and renal (kidney) transplantation. Renal/hypertension clinical services are conducted on a weekly basis. Specialty services are provided for individuals with difficult to control high blood pressure, blood or protein in urine, kidney stones or infections, and poor kidney function.

According to the Hospital Comparison Tool from Health Share Technology, Inc., a WebMD company, used to evaluate the latest (2003) New York Medicare data, ECMC Corporation ranked first of all Upstate New York hospitals performing kidney transplantation. The overall ranking reflected the combined performance of the ECMC Transplant Program in a number of individual categories, including mortality rate, number of complications, average length of stay, and relative cost for treatment.

"Our quality initiatives drive these processes, while our kidney/pancreas transplantation team of surgeons, nephrologists, physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, clinicians, and support staff enable us to achieve such remarkable results," stated Rocco C. Venuto, M.D., Medical Director of Renal Transplant and Director of the Nephrology Division for ECMC.

ECMC is a primary S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo site for the training of future nephrologists. The Renal Services Unit at ECMC is nationally recognized for research with particular concentration in the causes and consequences of high blood pressure in pregnancy, the causes of progressive kidney failure, the management of viral illness in kidney transplants, and the metabolism of drugs in patients with impaired kidney function and those post-transplant.


- Barbara Breckenridge, National Kidney Foundation of Western New York at 716-835-1323

- Joe Cirillo, Erie County Medical Center Corporation at 716-898-4300

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