As every Western New Yorker knows, there are only two seasons in this region: winter and construction. Since winter will soon be behind us, it is time to begin planning for what is next.
On March 9, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, the health care workers' union representing 800 employees at Niagara Falls Memorial, unveiled NiagaraFallsMemorialCares.org and launched a major joint initiative to secure funding for needed capital and infrastructure improvements on the medical center's campus.
"My grandparents were born at Niagara Falls Memorial; I was born here; and my children were born here. Our hospital has a proud tradition of being the center of our community for more than a hundred years," said Ann Flack, an 1199SEIU member and registered nurse. "Making capital improvements like purchasing a new emergency generator and restoring a parking garage for safe and easy access are smart investments that will go a long way in ensuring that the medical center can continue its legacy of providing quality care and good jobs to our community."
The "Building on the Tradition of Quality Care" campaign will feature community outreach materials, a website, and digital advertisements that highlight both the quality health care services that NFMMC provides and the significant economic contributions the hospital makes to this region.
Additionally, community supporters and visitors to NiagaraFallsMemorialCares.org can sign on to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ensure funds are in the state budget for repairs, construction and modernization to the medical center.
"Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is much more than a provider of high-quality medical care. With 1,200 employees, it's one of the largest employers in the county and a regional economic engine for growth," said President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. "Our growth has created an acute parking shortage that will become even greater with the April opening of a cardiac catheterization laboratory in The Heart Center of Niagara. It has also added urgency to the need for Memorial to replace its aging emergency power generators."
"The health care workers 1199SEIU represents at NFMMC are not just workers at the hospital, they live in the community and utilize the services and care provided by the medical center," said Jim Scordato, 1199SEIU area vice president. "People that work here stay in their job for years, 15 on average. This capital project is an extension of the common goals of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and 1199SEIU to maintain the highest standards of patient safety and satisfaction and meet the needs of our growing community."
New York State Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said, "As one of our region's largest employers, Niagara Falls Memorial contributes roughly $275 million annually to the community. In the past four years, NFMMC has added over 150 higher-paying jobs that we need. I fully understand the importance of this institution to our community and join with NFMMC and 1199SEIU to urge Gov. Cuomo to ensure funding in the 2017-18 NYS budget for the important and needed repairs, construction and modernization of NFMMC."