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In Motion - A New Addition to the Gates Vascular Institute Lobby
John E. Friedlander’s career as one of Western New York’s most dynamic and visionary health care leaders spanned more than two decades before his untimely passing in October 2005.
Two years ago a group of his former colleagues, friends and family launched a campaign to raise funds for a memorial sculpture to honor Friedlander for his innumerable accomplishments as a health care and community leader. Hugely successful, the campaign exceeded its $100,000 goal with contributions by more than 150 donors.
Now, with the support of Kaleida Health and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, a sculpture created by renowned artist and sculptor Shayne Dark is on display in the Gates Vascular Institute (GVI) adjacent to Buffalo General Medical Center.
Formal dedication of the John E. Friedlander Memorial Sculpture is scheduled for May. Entitled “In Motion,” the sculpture is 18 feet high and six feet in diameter, and suspended from the ceiling inside the GVI’s lobby. Dark describes the sculpture as a “dramatic and dynamic assemblage that reflects both its contemporary setting and the spirit of John Friedlander.”
Beginning in 1984, Friedlander had a distinguished tenure as Buffalo General’s Chief Operating Officer and later, President and Chief Executive Officer before he was chosen in 1996 to spearhead one of Western New York’s most historic health care events, the creation of Kaleida Health.
His vision, leadership, wisdom and perseverance helped set the stage for the 1998 merger of five hospitals, four nursing homes, seven home care organizations, and five foundations involving 2,000 physicians and more than 13,000 health care employees. It still ranks as the largest health care merger in Western New York history.
Upon completion of the merger, Friedlander served as Kaleida Health’s first Chief Executive Officer from 1998 – 2001. After leaving Kaleida Health, he formed his own firm, the Caduceus Consulting Group that served health care organizations across the country.
“This exquisite sculpture will serve as a unique and enduring tribute to John Friedlander, whose vision and leadership had a major impact on health care in Western New York, and helped lay the foundation for the creation of the Gates Vascular Institute and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” remarked Charles E. Balbach, a former Chair of the Buffalo General Board of Trustees, and currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, parent organization of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.