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Hospital History

DeGraff Memorial HospitalLeGrand S. DeGraff founded DeGraff Memorial Hospital in 1914. His philanthropy and civic service sparked the founding of the hospital in part because of the need for hospital facilities in the expanding Tonawandas, as the nearest hospital care was in Buffalo. When LeGrand DeGraff and his associates agreed to foot the entire bill of $37,578 for a brand new hospital, DeGraff Memorial became a reality.

There were 2 conditions surrounding the opening of the hospital. First, the indigent of the community were to receive free care, and the two cities, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, were to maintain the hospital properly. Second, the hospital was to be named in memory of DeGraff's father James H. DeGraff.

Aerial ViewThe building was officially opened on November 30, 1914 with one of the biggest social functions in the Tonawandas at the time, The Benefit Ball. The hospital quickly established itself as a vital institution to the Tonawandas. The first baby was born on January 4, 1915 at a total cost of $27.00. The first patient was a 1-year-old child who was treated for complications resulting from eczema. The child was released after one day, and the total bill was $1.30.

Over time, the hospital continued to grow with new wings and additions built in 1930, 1944, 1953 and 1956. Before LeGrand DeGraff died in 1960, he had given close to $200,000 to the hospital. His final effort was a $1.5 million bequest that made possible the new four-story $2.8 million building dedicated in 1964.

In 1998, DeGraff partnered with Kaleida Health to become part of the largest health care system in Western New York. The board of trustees of DeGraff felt at the time that this was necessary in order for the hospital to survive as an acute care facility in the long run. The transition turned out to be very smooth, and the board had a very high level of comfort with Kaleida.

LabsFor more than 85 years, DeGraff Memorial Hospital has been dedicated to promoting the health and wellness of the Tonawandas, southern Niagara County, and Erie County through the delivery of quality health care. Today, DeGraff is part of Kaleida Health, Western New York's largest health care system. This partnership allows DeGraff to link its patients with the most advanced health care services in Western New York.

DeGraff Memorial Hospital continues to meet the needs of the community by redesigning services, as the community's needs change. Today, DeGraff provides critical care and inpatient medical and surgical services, a specialized Medical Rehabilitation Unit for patients requiring extensive rehabilitation following surgical procedures, a subacute unit for the care of patients who require less intensive rehabilitation services, and a skilled nursing facility.

DeGraff also offers a full array of ambulatory services including laboratory, full service radiology and imaging services, ambulatory surgery, diagnostic cardiology procedures, and physical and occupational therapy.

Twin City AmbulanceComplementing DeGraff's services are health and wellness programs geared particularly to those over 55, and an adult day program, providing care for chronically ill adults and respite for caregivers.

When measured against a standardized patient satisfaction measure used in the health care industry, DeGraff measures higher than national standards, and recently rated above all other facilities in the Kaleida Health system. Today, the Tonawandas can be proud to have a hospital that has modern facilities, easy access, and a great medical staff. At the same time, DeGraff is proud to be an active member of the Tonawanda community as well as a vital community resource. Without the support of numerous volunteers and the community, DeGraff would not be able to function as a full service hospital.