Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center's cardiac/stroke care center campaign received an important boost Monday with the approval of a $250,000 construction grant by the Niagara Falls City Council.
The grant, to be paid from the city's local share of casino revenue, strengthens the campaign by completing a required dollar-for-dollar match for a $750,000 challenge grant awarded by the John R. Oishei Foundation.
"We are so pleased and grateful to the City Council for their endorsement of our efforts with their unanimous approval to invest in Niagara Falls Memorial's cardiac/stroke care project," said Judith Nolan Powell, a member of the hospital's board of directors and chair of its cardiac/stroke care center campaign.
Powell said it was especially gratifying the vote of confidence came on the city's birthday. Niagara Falls was incorporated March 17, 1892.
"My family, like so many other Niagara Falls families, has been severely impacted by cardiovascular disease. Improvements in Memorial's cardiac/stroke unit will ensure that the residents of our community can be confident that if heart attack or stroke strikes their loved ones, a state-of-the-art facility exists to provide immediate and effective treatment," she said.
Mayor Paul A. Dyster requested the grant.
"We must invest in our top employers, improve our residents' access to quality health care and strengthen our city's core neighborhood to succeed in this economy," Dyster said when announcing the request. "Partnering with the hospital and the Oishei Foundation on the cardiac/stroke center project is a strategic investment on each of those fronts."
Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo noted the medical center has pursued virtually every available grant opportunity to bring state, federal and private foundation dollars to Niagara Falls to fund programs that will create a healthier community.
"As a result, Memorial has brought nearly $10 million into our community over the past four years alone, funding 36 well-paying permanent jobs and creating new career opportunities in emerging health care professions that include care management, care coordination and navigation," Ruffolo said.
The Oishei Foundation awarded the $750,000 challenge grant in 2013. The City Council's award joins the Oishei Foundation's grant and the Memorial Medical Center Auxiliary's $100,000 commitment as lead gifts in the $3 million campaign.
The new 25-bed center will feature private rooms, a patient/family resource room, a teaching facility for medical education, on-site rehabilitation therapy facilities, advanced technology promoting patient safety, and nursing stations strategically located to place nurses closer to their patients.
Last year, more than 1,500 patients were hospitalized in Memorial's existing cardiac/stroke unit, which has been in operation for 40 years.