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Largest Personal Donation Presented for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital Will Create the Alfiero Family Emergency Care Center

Updated: 11/21/2012

Donation Announced by Amy Habib Rittling and Pete Augustine, Co-Chairs of the $40 Million Campaign for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital

Amy Habib Rittling and Pete Augustine, Co-Chairs of the fundraising campaign for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, announce the current campaign total to date along with its largest personal gift by Sal Alfiero and family.

The Alfiero Family Emergency Care Center will be named to honor a $5 million gift to the $40 million fundraising campaign to support construction of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

To see video of this announcement, please click here:

Mr. Alfiero is a long-time community leader, supporter of Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, and successful businessman who was founder and former Chairman of Mark IV Industries. His many roles and forms of support for the hospital include serving as its Board Chair. He was also one of the six founding directors of the Kaleida Health System, subsequently serving as its second Board Chair.  Additionally, funding for the Alfiero Family Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Alfiero Family Helipad was provided by the family charitable foundation.

“We are indebted to the people and institutions of our Western New York community,” said Mr. Alfiero.  “Over the decades that we’ve resided and worked here, we have participated in the everyday life and active membership in the governance of some of its educational, commercial, and medical institutions. Women & Children’s and Kaleida are of special meaning from both a very personal, and equally, a capability perspective.”

Mr. Alfiero continues, “The construction of the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital offers us an opportunity to participate in a very meaningful way; to turn a great idea into a wonderful and much needed reality. It’s called ‘Giving Back’ to a community that has given, and continues to give, so much.”

The largest personal donation made to this fundraising campaign, the presentation was announced by newly appointed Campaign Co-Chairs, Amy Habib Rittling, Partner, Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP, and Pete Augustine, President, New Era Cap.

“I am honored to lead this campaign along with my co-chair, Pete Augustine, our dedicated Campaign Cabinet, and Foundation Staff.  Children’s lives in our community and beyond are saved each day at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo,” said Ms. Habib Rittling.  “Through the overwhelming generosity of our community, most notably the individual leadership of Sal Alfiero, parents, families and children will be secure in knowing that a comprehensive and state of the art Children’s Hospital will be built to provide the highest standards of pediatric care and services for generations to come.”

Ms. Habib Rittling concentrates her practice in employment and general business counseling and litigation.  She is also a parent of four children with her husband Mark Rittling, Jr.  An active advocate and supporter of many organizations throughout Western New York, she credits Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo with saving her son’s life following his birth 6 years ago.

“Having been active in many fund-raising efforts for the Hospital over the years, I'm excited to play a leadership role alongside Amy Habib Rittling in this transformative project,” said Mr. Augustine.  “As a lifelong resident and father of three, I understand how vital this new hospital will be to our community for generations to come."

Pete Augustine has been with New Era for over 20 years, and has been President since 2003. .New Era has had a long standing relationship with Women & Children’s Hospital in supporting their signature fund-raising efforts such as the Pro Am Golf Tournament and Festival of Trees.

This presentation by Sal Alfiero and family continues strong momentum gained by the new $40 million fundraising campaign for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which has raised more than $21.5 million to date.  This campaign has also been supported by a lead $10 million donation to name the new hospital from the John R. Oishei Foundation and a $2 million gift from the Children’s Guild Foundation.

As the Regional Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, all children and adolescents from throughout the eight counties of Western New York in need of emergent care due to serious illness or injury are transported to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, which receives more than 45,000 visits annually in the Emergency Room.  Traumatic and accidental injuries or serious illness account for nearly 30 percent of these Emergency Room visits with nearly 800 resulting in hospital admission.  The Emergency Department also works in collaboration with Adult Internal Medicine Specialists and OB/GYN specialists for OB/GYN emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The vision for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital is to be recognized as the innovator, the highest quality, highest value provider and partner, and the regional referral center for women and children’s care for Kaleida Health, in Western New York and beyond.  Plans for the 10-floor hospital include a facility to provide its comprehensive range of specialized pediatric care and a family resource center.  Additionally, a women’s pavilion will house labor & delivery, post partum care, the regional perinatal center for high-risk pregnancies and a women’s health center providing prenatal and gynecological care.  It is scheduled to be completed in December of 2015.  More information about these plans is available online at

Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a Kaleida Health facility and teaching hospital for the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services in Western New York and beyond.  For more information, please go online at

Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo is ranked by US News & World Report in its special edition of "Best Children's Hospitals" for each of the past two years.  As three of the specialty areas within children's hospitals ranked nationally in this publication, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo is among the best children's hospitals in Neurology/Neurosurgery and Cancer care in 2011 – 2012 and Gastroenterology in 2012 – 2013.

Additional information available: