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$1 Million Gift Will Establish the James H. Cummings Foundation Epilepsy Monitoring Center

Updated: 5/17/2013

Equaling the largest gift ever presented by the Cummings Foundation for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital

A $1 million gift to establish the James H. Cummings Foundation Epilepsy Monitoring Center at the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital was presented at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

"The James H. Cummings Foundation believes that having a state-of-the-art hospital focused on children's needs is critical to our community. The new hospital being located on the medical campus will bring a tremendous opportunity for the medical community and higher education to collaborate in ways we can't even imagine today,” stated Charles F. Kreiner, Jr., president of the James H. Cummings Foundation.

To see video of this announcement, click here:

The James H. Cummings Foundation was established to support the philanthropic vision of its namesake. Throughout its 51-year history, the Foundation has aided countless organizations engaged in advancing charitable interests according to the guidelines and policies espoused by Mr. Cummings.  Admired for his unassuming manner, friendly air, and a quiet generosity, Mr. Cummings was dedicated to giving back to the communities he called “home.”

This historic commitment continues the strong momentum for the $40 million fundraising campaign for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which has raised $30 million to date. The James H. Cummings Foundation continues a trend of major giving to support the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which includes the John R. Oishei Foundation, The Children’s Guild Foundation, The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, New Era and Fisher-Price/Mattel.

“As plans continue to be developed for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, we are extremely pleased and appreciative that the Cummings Foundation chose to give a $1 million gift for the second time in their 51 year history to support the new hospital’s Epilepsy Monitoring Center,” said Arie Weinstock, MD, associate professor of Neurology, University at Buffalo Department of Neurology and medical director of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a neurologic condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy affects about 2.2 million people in the United States, while 45,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with epilepsy each year. 

Despite significant advances in epilepsy therapeutics, a third of patients remain poorly controlled and continue to have frequent seizures while taking multiple anti-epileptic drugs, affecting their quality of life and causing havoc to families and caretakers. Referring patients with refractory epilepsy to specialized (Level 4) referral centers, where long-term video EEG monitoring is available, can provide accurate diagnosis and allow for optimal therapeutic intervention, in particular evaluation for epilepsy surgery, tailored anti-epileptic drug therapy, implantation of vagal nerve stimulators or initiation of the ketogenic diet.

The current eight-bed epilepsy monitoring unit is housed on the seventh floor of the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB), and serves both children and adults with epilepsy. The unit is staffed by a specialized team of five epileptologists, an epilepsy neurosurgeon, skilled EEG technicians, specialized nurses and a nurse practitioner with expertise in epilepsy.

The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) recognized the existing Epilepsy Monitoring Center at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo as a Level 4 epilepsy center for the fourth year in a row earlier this year. According to the NAEC, Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

Expanded services at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo along with continued trends of more patients receiving care in an outpatient setting were major factors considered by a physician-led steering committee while developing its proposal to relocate to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus location. 

Led by Teresa Quattrin, MD, professor of Pediatrics, chair, Department of Pediatrics, University of New York at Buffalo, and pediatrician-in-chief, chief, Division of Endocrinology/Diabetes, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, the physician-led steering committee is comprised of more than four dozen physicians, representing a broad section of the community, including University and private practice. 

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 health care for Kaleida Health, in Western New York and beyond. 

The James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit corporation organized in New York State in July of 1962 for the purpose of complying with certain directions in the will of its founder and namesake. James H. Cummings was a resident of Buffalo, NY where he owned and operated a pharmaceutical business, American Ferment Company. Routinely spending 14-hour days working at his desk or in the laboratory, Cummings built the company’s success around a group of proprietary medicines which carried the trade name, “Caroid.”

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.

Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo is ranked by US News & World Report in its special edition of "Best Children's Hospitals." 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.

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Additional information available: http://www.wchob.org/oishei