Helipad Opens at Buffalo General Medical Center

Updated: 2/15/2012

The newly renamed Buffalo General Medical Center has officially opened its helipad atop its roof on High Street. 

Two patients have been transported to the facility via Mercy Flight helicopter, one from Lockport Memorial Hospital and the other from Lakeshore Health Care Center in Irving. 

“Having a helipad is vital to our mission of providing the best possible care for critically ill patients throughout Western New York,” said Cheryl Klass, senior vice president for Kaleida Health and the president of Buffalo General Medical Center. “The helipad will provide improved access to the specialized services available at the Buffalo General Medical Center and the soon to be open Gates Vascular Institute.” 

Klass added that a helipad is standard for tertiary care centers like Buffalo General.  Medical helicopter service will be a strong compliment for the burgeoning Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. 

Prior to having a helipad, critically ill patients requiring urgent medical transport to the Buffalo General Medical Center arrived via ground transport or were first flown to Erie County Medical Center and then transferred into an ambulance to complete the journey. 

“The helipad is clearly beneficial to critically ill patients we receive who are most at risk and therefore can least afford any delays in receiving emergent care,” said Rob McCormack, M.D.  “Being a tertiary care hospital, time is a critical element for many of our patients. Opening the helipad here at Buffalo General will allow for the physician to be at the patient’s bedside much quicker.” 

Services at the Buffalo General Medical Center patients in need will have improved access to via the helipad include the following: 

  • Chest Pain Center.  Buffalo General received full Cycle III Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCI from the National Society of Chest Pain Centers, making it the first hospital in New York State to successfully undergo review under the newest and most stringent standards.
  • Buffalo General also has received full Heart Failure Accreditation status from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC).  Buffalo General is the only hospital in the region, one of two hospitals in New York State and one of a handful of centers in the country with this accreditation. 
  • The Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), opening this spring of 2012, will house the merger of Kaleida Health’s cardiac, stroke and vascular operations, plus a new and expanded emergency department. It is anticipated that the new emergency department will accommodate more than 60,000 visits, while the hospital will discharge nearly 27,000 patients. 

The helipad is located atop the “A” Tower of the Buffalo General Medical Center.