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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; October 3, 2007-Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) and Sheehan Memorial Hospital announced today that they had agreed to transfer 10 acute-care detoxification "beds" from ECMC to Sheehan, a proposed modification to a recommendation issued last December by the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century. 

Also known as the Berger Commission, the December 1, 2006 report determined ECMC should transfer its 22 acute detoxification beds to Sheehan.  However, after multiple meetings between the two hospitals' executives, ECMC and Sheehan officials agreed that it is in the best interest of the community to transfer 10 beds to Sheehan and maintain 12 beds at ECMC. 

This modified plan was discussed in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health and other agencies.  The Department of Health is charged with implementing the provisions of the Berger Commission.

"Working together, Sheehan and ECMC have developed a solution that draws on the strengths of both institutions to meet the health care needs of our patients and community.  We put patients first in the process, and are pleased with the result," said Sheehan President & CEO June W. Hoeflich.  

 "We were able to discuss what was best for the patients," said ECMC President & CEO Michael A. Young.  "It was a collaborative process that makes sure that those individuals in need of substance abuse treatment have the best-possible care between ECMC and Sheehan." 

Sheehan Memorial Hospital has gone through a transformation in recent years, emerging as a leading provider of substance abuse services in the county, in addition to offering a growing array of primary care and outpatient services.  Today, Sheehan's detox beds are highly utilized at over 90% occupancy, and maintain an average length of stay of 3.1 days.  Sheehan's City View Treatment Center provides 38% of all drug and rehabilitation services and 44% of all inpatient substance abuse services delivered each year in Erie County. Half of the inpatient detox patients travel from outside the service area to receive care at Sheehan.   The transfer of 10 beds from ECMC will mean that Sheehan will operate 20 medically managed detoxification beds, as well as 30 substance abuse rehabilitation beds. 

Sheehan Memorial also has a broad range of primary and specialty care services, including clinics in pulmonary, gynecology, cardiology, orthopedics, urology, general surgery and podiatry.  Its ambulatory care volume averages about 11,500 patient visits a year, with this number expecting to grow as the Hospital implements its new mandates. Upon approval by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and New York State Department of Health (DOH), Sheehan will offer outpatient substance abuse services, such as medically managed chemical dependence, methadone maintenance treatment and mental health services. Further, Sheehan Memorial will enhance its ambulatory care, disease management and preventive screening programs and open a family dental center.

 In reaching the recommendation to transfer 10 beds, ECMC and Sheehan agreed that 12 beds should be kept at ECMC to serve those substance abuse patients who also require the wider range of inpatient medical and surgical services offered by ECMC.  At ECMC, acute detoxification services are part of ECMC's addiction medicine services.  In 2006, ECMC had 1,346 discharges with an average length of stay of 3.8 days.  

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Erie County Medical Center is known for its best-in-the-state, life-saving regional trauma center; also excellent heart, kidney, burn, psychiatric and orthopedic programs; a superior physician and nursing staff.

In an April 2007 report, the hospital announced that operating revenues increased by $66 million, or 24 percent, over the past two years as costs were contained and more patients selected ECMC for services they knew were excellent here. From 2005 to 2006 revenues increased 16 percent, or $47 million, to total $338 million. 


Sheehan Memorial Hospital, located at 425 Michigan Street in downtown Buffalo, is a vital part of the Buffalo health care community. Sheehan's preventive health services include Family Care, Pediatrics, Specialty Care Clinics (gynecology, cardiology, pulmonary, orthopedics, podiatry, urology and general surgery), Diagnostic Services, and the City View Treatment Center, which provides comprehensive, focused, high quality substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.

NEWS CONTACTS:    Joe Cirillo: 716-898-4300   jcirillo@ecmc.edu                            

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