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Kaleida Health, ECMC Announce Cardiac Integration

Updated: 2/28/2013

Kaleida Health and the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) today announced the integration of cardiac services. All heart surgery, angioplasty and heart attack care will now take place at the Gates Vascular Institute.

This is the third major initiative between Kaleida Health and ECMC and creates the region's center of excellence for heart care.

“Western New York has a very high rate of cardiovascular disease and stroke, essentially the same disease process in different areas of the human body,” said L. Nelson Hopkins, MD, President of the Gates Vascular Institute. “The Gates Vascular Institute is the only center in the country where all of the physicians and scientists focused on vascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, work side by side because of the unique building design. This partnership with ECMC gives us a chance to better serve our community in this new, exciting and award-winning facility.”

The integration will bring ECMC patients to the expertise of the Gates Vascular Institute. The ECMC campus will continue to have on-site cardiology medicine services, diagnostic catherization, and thoracic services for trauma patients.

Opened in March of 2012, the Gates Vascular Institute is a team of researchers, surgeons, physicians, and other clinicians devoted to the study, treatment, and prevention of cardiac, stroke, and vascular diseases. ECMC, a strong proponent of the institute, made a $20 million investment in the facility and has worked since its inception to integrate ECMC cardiac services in the new facility.

“When we opened the Gates Vascular Institute, we said it would revolutionize health care in our community,” said James R. Kaskie, President and CEO of Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health. “That is happening today as we combine two cardiac programs under one roof. We have also created the largest, most modern and digital emergency department around, complete with a new helipad. And, we are leveraging the space and infrastructure at Buffalo General to create a more modern medical center for complex services. We are building a healthier future through a collision of talent and knowledge; bringing the brightest medical minds together on behalf of the patients of Western New York.” 

Kaleida Health and ECMC’s combined cardiac program account for 8,000 catheterization procedures and nearly 1,000 heart surgeries each year in Western New York.

Kaleida Health's cardiac program has been rated in the top 10 percent for heart surgery and among the top five percent in the nation for coronary angioplasty. In addition, the program has been named a BlueCross BlueShield “distinction center” for cardiac care in Western New York and has received a HealthGrades Five Star award, the UnitedHealthcare Cardiac Center of Excellence award and the Premier award for Quality for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.

ECMC is an accredited Chest Pain Center and has received numerous gold awards from the American Heart Association for its quality of care and response time for emergency angioplasty. ECMC also continues to have some of the best trauma survival statistics in New York State.

“The integration of ECMC cardiac services with the Gates Vascular Institute to create one program at both sites continues our goal to provide quality care for patients, support for the region’s trauma center, and further enhance the clinical expertise at the Gates Vascular Institute,” said Jody Lomeo, CEO of ECMC. “Working with Kaleida Health, we continue to see true results of collaboration as we improve health care for our entire community.”

The Gates Vascular Institute brings together Kaleida Health physicians and University at Buffalo (UB) researchers in a collaborative effort to deliver state-of-the-art clinical care, produce major breakthroughs on the causes and treatment of vascular disease and spin-off new biotechnology businesses and jobs. It features four floors that are dedicated to the surgical and interventional management of cardiac, vascular and neurological conditions, as well as a 16-bed highly specialized intensive care unit, and a 62-bed short-stay suite. The combined buildings of the Gates Vascular Institute and neighboring Buffalo General Medical Center (BGMC), house 548 inpatient beds, 30 operating rooms, 17 interventional labs, four CT scanners and four MRIs.

The new Buffalo General Medical Center emergency department, located on the ground floor of the Gates Vascular Institute building, is the largest in Western New York and can accommodate more than 60,000 patient visits annually. In addition to medical ground transportation to the emergency department, Buffalo General Medical Center can now accommodate patients with life threatening emergencies via medical helicopter, with 24/7 immediate access to an intervention or surgery.

This consolidation represents the third major initiative between the two organizations to consolidate services, under the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York. The first created the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care on ECMC’s campus, and the second is currently underway, creating a Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Care.