Plan For Helipad at Buffalo General Hospital is Approved

Released: 4/14/2011

The City of Buffalo has approved Buffalo General Hospital’s request to build a helipad. 

On Tuesday (April 12, 2011) the City’s Planning Board approved the site plan for the project.  Last week, the Common Council approved the use of the helipad, paving the way for the project to proceed. 

“This is great news for our hospital and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” said Larry Zielinski, President of Buffalo General Hospital.  “As the campus continues to grow, it’s vital that we enhance our full range of clinical services.  The helipad will be a great compliment and a convenient means of transportation for our critically ill patients.” 

The helipad will be constructed on the roof of the Buffalo General’s 16-floor “A” building tower, which provides immediate access to the hospital’s emergency room and surgery suites. 

“Being a tertiary care hospital, time is a critical element for many of our patients,” said Rob McCormack, M.D., the chief of emergency medicine for Kaleida Health and Buffalo General Hospital.  “Installing a helipad here at Buffalo General will allow for the physician to be at the patient’s bedside much quicker.” 

On March 21, Kaleida Health conducted a test flight to demonstrate the noise level to residents living in close proximity to the hospital.  A noise expert determined the helicopter’s sound impact to the surrounding neighborhood to be minimal. 

Kaskie added that a helipad is standard for any new hospital that is built today.  In addition, medical helicopter service will be a strong compliment for the burgeoning medical campus, including the heart and vascular institute, currently being built adjacent to Buffalo General. 

With the continued growth and demand of Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital’s neurovascular and cardiac programs in an ever aging building, Kaleida Health has decided to shift the hospital’s premier services (stroke care, cardiac surgery) to the soon-to-be-completed facility next to Buffalo General Hospital.

This new heart and vascular building will house five floors of Kaleida Health's merger of its cardiac, stroke and vascular programs, plus a new and expanded emergency department.  It will also house five floors of the University at Buffalo’s research and development facilities, including its clinical and translational research center (CTRC) and a UB biosciences incubator. 

In November of 2005, Kaleida Health opened the “Alfiero Family Helipad” at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.  Kaskie said that the helipad had a dramatic impact on both patient care and admissions.  

As a 501-bed acute care medical center located in heart of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo General is the largest hospital in Western New York, offering the widest spectrum of healthcare available.  The largest teaching affiliate of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the hospital provides a wide spectrum of clinical inpatient care and outpatient services. 

Buffalo General is also the largest facility within Kaleida Health, and offers specialized programs in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, complex general surgery, bariatric surgery, gastroenterology, rehabilitation medicine, kidney and pancreas transplantation, neurology, geriatric medicine and behavioral health.