Kaleida Health’s plan to enhance and upgrade its Niagara County hospital location continues to progress. Today, the health system broke ground on its $7.8 million emergency department renovation.
The project is the focal point of “DeGraff 2020,” Kaleida Health’s plan for the future state of the North Tonawanda hospital.
“The new state-of-the-art Emergency Department is a critical part of the future success of DeGraff Memorial Hospital and demonstrates that the hospital is here to stay,” said Darcy Craven, president, DeGraff Memorial Hospital. “It will allow DeGraff to continue delivering the personalized care that the community has relied upon for over 100 years.”
The plan is to relocate the Emergency Department from the west side of hospital campus to the east side, fronting the Twin City Highway and allowing for better access, parking and visibility for patients, families and visitors.
The expansion calls for 17 treatment bays, including a trauma room, a dedicated bariatric room and an airborne isolation room. It will also include a decontamination area suitable for current and emerging infectious diseases.
To further accommodate geriatric patients, DeGraff will use non-glare lighting, slip proof flooring, increased family space, plus signage with oversized lettering.
Last renovated in 1975, the space will more than double from 4,800 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health said, “This is an important investment for not only the hospital, but the entire Northtowns community. DeGraff Memorial Hospital remains an important part of Kaleida Health and is the gateway from Niagara County into our organization for services like stroke, cardiac, vascular and pediatrics.”
“As our patient volume increases in our Emergency Department, the need for a larger and more contemporary facility has been significant,” said Jill Pawlowski, M.D., the director of emergency medicine at DeGraff Memorial Hospital. “This new expansion is focused on creating the best possible experience for patients and their families and enable us to provide better and more efficient emergency medical services to our community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Over 1,000 inpatient cases are generated annually from DeGraff into Kaleida Health facilities.
DeGraff 2020 calls for the hospital to focus on emergency department access, infusion services, wound care, its geriatric clinic and outpatient services like imaging, lab, rehabilitation services and GI. It also calls on rightsizing it from a 66 bed medical/surgical facility to a 10 bed unit for lower acuity patients.
The hospital saw over 14,000 emergency room visits in 2013 and nearly 15,500 in 2015. The Pike Company will serve as the construction manager for the project. Wendel Architects & Engineers is serving as the architect.