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Innovation @ the New Memorial

By Joseph A. Ruffolo, President & CEO Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Joseph A. Ruffolo, President & CEO Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

In a year that brought change and confusion to the healthcare arena, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center continued to grow and change to meet today’s healthcare challenges.

This year, Memorial has successfully implemented several strategic initiatives that continue our transformation from a traditional community hospital to the new Memorial - a center for health and wellness for the community and the region. We have invested more than $8 million in facilities and technology this year alone, with $62 million invested in the past decade.

• A new medical-surgical floor with all private rooms, a Family Resource Room and a media learning center provides the patient with comfort, privacy and care of the highest quality, reducing stress and promoting healing.

• Memorial continues to lead in minimally invasive and robotic surgery bringing the latest techniques and technology to the region to support its extraordinary surgical team. Memorial is increasingly the first the choice of surgeons and patients for bariatric surgery, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, gynecological surgery, general surgery and orthopedic surgery. Memorial’s surgeons were among the first in New York to conduct single-site robotic surgery procedures.

• Memorial’s expanded comprehensive joint replacement program in partnership with Excelsior Orthopaedics offers Niagara’s only anterior hip replacement - a surgical technique that can result in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.

• The Wound Center of Niagara, developed in conjunction with RestorixHealth, one of the nation’s leaders in comprehensive wound care and wound management programs, specializes in treating chronic or problem wounds often associated with medical conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation and certain types of infection. The Wound Center of Niagara, under the leadership of Medical Director Michael Mitchell, M.D., boasts a multidisciplinary physician panel providing comprehensive wound management and treatment.

• A half-million dollar upgrade of the Mary C. Dyster Women’s Pavilion offers all-private, homelike accommodations and a fresh, contemporary look with bright colors, all new furnishings and vivid artwork while promoting comfort, safety and family involvement. And we continue to be women’s first - and safest - choice for delivering babies with the most births in Niagara County and the county’s only neonatal trained anesthesiologists.

• Memorial is a regional leader in providing primary care and integrated care models, establishing Niagara’s first New York State-designated Health Home and providing care management to hundreds of patients with complex medical and behavioral health issues in its first year.

• Memorial’s new $2 million Niagara Wellness Connection Center - a “one-stop shop” for behavioral health care, primary care services and co-located community-based social supports and services - will open in January. In mid-2014, integrated care services will be expanded to serve elderly patients at the Summit Healthplex.

• Memorial’s ER1 continues to be Niagara County’s only emergency department with all physicians board certified in emergency medicine.

In 2013, Memorial also:

• Partnered with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to open UB OrthoCare at the Summit Healthplex, giving area residents better access to emergency care for orthopedic and sports injuries

• Announced a new partnership between Niagara Hospice and Schoellkopf Health Center that will lead to the opening of a dedicated hospice unit on the Memorial Medical Center campus named for David Winker, a beloved Memorial Medical Center employee who spent his final days being cared for at Niagara Hospice House.

• Kicked off Project Runway, a community based program funded by the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation that employs gender-specific strategies to heighten awareness and prevent drug and alcohol abuse among young women ages 14-24.

• Received a $750,000 challenge grant from The John R. Oishei Foundation for a new inpatient Cardiac/Stroke Care Center as part of three-year capital campaign.

• Was awarded accreditation by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, an independent organization recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

• Welcomed infectious disease specialist Rajinder Bajwa, M.D. to our medical staff. Dr. Bajwa provides care to patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings and serves as an Infectious Disease consultant to Memorial’s physicians and nurses.

• Was selected by the State of New York as Niagara’s health plan navigation program, establishing 10 service sites across the county in support of NY State of Health, the official health plan marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.

As you can see, we ARE the new Memorial.

We are ever so grateful for the support and encouragement of the community, our funding partners, our service partners and our Memorial team. There’s more to come - we look forward to sharing more good news with you in 2014 as we continue evolving to consistently meet the area’s health and wellness needs.

Until then, please accept our best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy new year!



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Dec 31, 2013