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News & Media

Kaleida Health Responds to Catholic Health Service Reduction

Released: 9/29/2021 6:00:00 AM

Kaleida Health and other area hospitals are responding to the news that Mercy Hospital is on patient diversion and has suspended elective surgeries as well as non-emergent obstetrical services.

The patient diversion and related closures, which have been attributed to a labor dispute between the Catholic Health System and one of its labor unions CWA1133, have hospitals preparing for the impact in the form of higher emergency room volumes, longer wait times, and stress on bed availability.

Kaleida Health is reminding the public: for those experiencing critical medical issues like chest pain, stroke symptoms, abdominal pain, injuries, among others – do not delay care.

Kaleida Health emergency rooms (Buffalo General, Millard Suburban, DeGraff Medical Park) and its partner ECMC remain safe, open and ready to treat emergency patients. You can check out ER wait times here: Kaleida Health – Buffalo, NY

Beginning today (Wednesday, September 29), Catholic Health has suspended elective surgeries at Mercy Hospital, adding to an already stressed health care delivery system.

It has also been announced that Mercy Hospital has suspended all scheduled inductions of labor and scheduled cesarean sections until further notice. Obstetrical patients are being directed elsewhere, including Oishei Children’s Hospital, which has launched a comprehensive plan to address the impact and increase of volume.

The ambulance diversions have also resulted in additional patient volume at the area’s only center of excellence for cardiac and stroke care, the Gates Vascular Institute.

“We are hopeful that the impact on operations for area hospitals amid Catholic Health’s labor dispute is minimal,” said Bob Nesselbush, CEO of Kaleida Health. “That said, it is important to point out that we intend to remain open and provide access to services across our organization. We are adding resources, recruiting additional personnel, and going through considerable scenario planning to address this. We are doing our very best to be there for the community.”

Nesselbush added that Kaleida Health will measure and monitor the increasing volumes across the organization. Similar to COVID-19 peak times, they will patient load balance between all of their local facilities (Buffalo General, Millard Suburban, DeGraff Medical Park) as well ECMC when needed.

To help minimize the effects of this diversion on its staff, and patients in need of critical care services, Kaleida Health encourages those in our community to:

For those looking for employment, Kaleida Health has dozens of positions available across all professions and sites. See here: Careers at Kaleida Health – Buffalo, NY