Progress Continues on New Oishei Children’s Hospital

Updated: 6/19/2014

Fundraising, clinical and operational planning plus community support highlights recent progress for the physician-led plan to build a new children’s hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Kaleida Health has been invited by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to submit its formal application for financing to build the new Oishei Children’s Hospital. 

“Much like our physicians, employees, donors and patients, our longtime financing partners at HUD are excited about the project,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “Our consistent operational performance so far in 2014, confidence in our plan, and the importance of the project to both Kaleida Health and the Western New York community, was well received by HUD. Add that to our philanthropy raised to date, New York State’s interest in the project, and it bodes very well for us as we break ground in the coming months.”

The capital campaign to assist in building the new hospital continues to proceed as planned. Nearly $38 million of the $42 million capital campaign has been raised. In addition to this, $2.5 million has been raised to create endowments for some of the hospital’s family support programs including Stones Buddies (for chronically ill children) as well as a neonatal intensive care unit family resources endowment. Kaleida Health and Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo have also begun an expanded fundraising effort to support the hematology/oncology program with initial gifts totaling $1.25 million.

The future hospital site, located at Ellicott and High Streets, is essentially shovel ready. The City of Buffalo and its related entities have approved the environmental impact statement (EIS) and given official site plan approval to build the new hospital. Kaleida Health has obtained city approval for “air rights” or the easement above Ellicott Street for the bridge connecting Buffalo General Medical Center with the new hospital. In addition to this, Ellicott Street (between High and Goodrich Streets) has been repaved by the City of Buffalo and switched to two-way traffic to help facilitate movement around the campus.

Ciminelli Real Estate’s $100 million Conventus project held its “topping off” event recently, signaling the completion of structural steel and the move to shell the building. Conventus, at Main and High Streets, will house the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo ambulatory services as well as many of the practice plans from UBMD. 

“Our efforts are working,” said Allegra Jaros, president, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. “While there is much more work to be done, we can all be very excited about the progress underway. On behalf of the patients and families that we serve, we thank our physicians, employees, donors and the entire Western New York community for their unwavering support as we work to build the very best children’s hospital for generations to come.”

Despite all of the medical successes that happen every day at the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the current location is not sustainable. The capital needs are enormous. The operating costs are excessive and duplicative, but can be reduced through the relocation to the campus. The repercussions from the loss of this community asset would not only be felt locally, but across all of New York and the greater region. Without close, accessible children’s services, patients will be forced to seek care out of state; assuming they can even access these services given transportation and other barriers.

In an effort to make patient care more effective and efficient, Kaleida Health is building the new Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. It will be an integral part of the campus, linking with Buffalo General Medical Center, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Gates Vascular Institute, the new University at Buffalo (UB) Medical School and more.

This project will right-size and consolidate services in a 12-floor, 185-bed, free-standing, modern facility. The new hospital will ensure pediatric and maternal services remain available for patients in the Western New York region. The vision for the new 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 health care for Kaleida Health, Western New York and beyond.

Scheduled to break ground in 2014, the new hospital will provide a comprehensive range of specialized pediatric care (including trauma) and pediatric surgical services as well as a Women's Pavilion with related services. Services include labor and delivery, the regional perinatal center and the women’s health center, that provide prenatal, gynecological care and C-section operating rooms, all located on the same floor.