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Artist rendering courtesy of Catholic Health
Artist rendering courtesy of Catholic Health

Lockport Memorial: Catholic Health to preserve health care in eastern Niagara County

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Tue, Oct 13th 2020 02:25 pm

Plans call for building new, state-of-the-art hospital in Lockport

Catholic Health Press Release

A new “hospital of the future” is coming to Lockport, solidifying the continuation of high quality health care services for the people of Eastern Niagara County.

Catholic Health President and CEO Mark A. Sullivan on Tuesday announced a management agreement between the health system and Eastern Niagara Hospital that will culminate in the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital centrally located in Lockport – preserving local health care for more than 80,000 residents in the surrounding community. Catholic Health will begin looking at several land options in Lockport and plans to begin construction in 2021 with an opening date in 2023.

“We are ensuring sustainable, accessible, high-quality health care in Eastern Niagara County, while building a hospital of the future that will serve area residents for years to come,” Sullivan said. “We are grateful for the support and coordination from the New York State Department of Health throughout this process. This agreement is about neighbors taking care of neighbors, preserving health care jobs in the community, and supporting the dedicated staff who have provided high-quality care under difficult circumstances. In honor of the legacy of health care in Eastern Niagara County and the work of everyone before us, the new hospital will be called Lockport Memorial.”

Eastern Niagara Hospital’s focus on quality, safety and patient satisfaction will continue, strengthened by the support of Catholic Health. Over the next two years, inpatient care, emergency services and diagnostic imaging will remain at Eastern Niagara’s East Avenue campus until the new hospital opens. The hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Center, Imaging Services and Urgent Care Clinic at 5875 S. Transit Road will also continue to operate as Catholic Health looks to expand community-based care in Eastern Niagara County.

“Due to changing trends, Eastern Niagara Hospital is taking a proactive approach, working with Catholic Health to find a solution that best serves the Lockport community,” Sullivan continued. “Together, along with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, we are building a health care model that will strengthen services across the Niagara Region. Through this partnership, Lockport residents will be able to receive needed care at Eastern Niagara Hospital, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, the Eastern Niagara Regional Surgery Center and a new multispecialty practice, and ultimately at the new Lockport Memorial Hospital once it opens.”

Last November, Eastern Niagara Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Faced with ongoing losses, the hospital’s board made the unanimous decision to be proactive and approve the agreement with Catholic Health, assuring the future of health care in Eastern Niagara County.

“This plan will require the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court,” Eastern Niagara Hospital President Anne McCaffrey said. “We will be working over the next several days to discuss the program in detail with the constituents in the bankruptcy process. We hope that, once they are fully briefed, they will join us in asking Chief Bankruptcy Judge (Carl) Bucki for approval of this plan.”

“This is a great day for the greater Lockport community,” she added. “We are so pleased to join with Catholic Health – a partner that is innovative and visionary, fully committed to our community, and willing to make a significant investment in building a new hospital. It would have been easy for their leaders to consider the challenges facing Eastern Niagara Health and not get involved. But, Catholic Health has stepped up in a monumental way with a major investment in health care not seen in the eastern portion of Niagara County in years.”

Sullivan said, “We look forward to a close collaboration with the community physicians who have served Lockport well for decades and to working with Niagara County leaders to move this project forward. Mount St. Mary’s Hospital will also play a critical role in this plan. As Niagara County’s only ‘A’ rated hospital for safety by the Leapfrog Group, a consumer rating agency, Mount St. Mary’s has extensive, high-quality resources, including primary care doctors, specialists and surgeons, to serve the community. We are leveraging all of Catholic Health’s expertise and continuum of care, which has the highest quality and safety results in the region, to support the effort.”

Robert M. Greene, chairman of the Catholic Health board of directors, said, “Catholic Health already has a significant presence in Niagara County with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and has invested more than $30 million in the region over the past five years. This new partnership with Eastern Niagara Hospital is building upon that commitment. The members of the Catholic Health board who reside in Niagara County were instrumental in discerning our approach and are very enthusiastic that a solution is in the works.”

Ann Briody Petock, chair of the Eastern Niagara board of directors, said, “This new partnership is forward thinking. Catholic Health has taken the concept of a new emergency department and expanded it to an even higher level, exceeding our greatest expectations. To know that Catholic Health values the Niagara County community enough to invest the time, money and effort to build a new hospital is incredible. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community and we could not be more grateful.”

In the coming months, Catholic Health will continue to provide regular updates on construction of the new hospital.

New York State Sen. Robert Ortt said, “It brings me great joy to welcome Catholic Health into our Lockport community. Catholic Health has an outstanding track record as both a health care provider and community partner. I’ve worked closely with Western New York residents as well as staff at Eastern Niagara to prioritize concerns we all share regarding access and quality of care. Catholic Health understands these concerns and has a successful record and model to deliver on them.”

About Catholic Health

From delivering thousands of babies each year to offering the area’s widest network of comprehensive cardiac, stroke and orthopedic services; to providing a broad range of services for aging seniors, Catholic Health cares for hundreds of thousands of Western New Yorkers at dozens of locations throughout Erie and Niagara counties. Its health care network includes Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital and its St. Joseph Campus; along with a complete continuum of home and community-based care services, including skilled nursing and subacute rehab facilities, home care agencies, and diagnostic and treatment centers.

About Eastern Niagara Hospital

Eastern Niagara Hospital (ENH) was established in 2009 as a result of the merger of Lockport Memorial Hospital (established 1908) and Inter-Community Memorial Hospital (established 1958). In an effort to meet the challenges and changing health care needs of the eastern portion of Niagara County, the hospital has evolved over the past decades. Today, ENH maintains an emergency department, acute care, cardiac services, a full array of diagnostic services and an inpatient chemical dependency treatment unit at its main campus in the City of Lockport.

ENH also operates a modern outpatient facility in the Town of Lockport, with urgent care, occupational medicine, numerous diagnostic services, as well as an ambulatory surgery center – Niagara Regional Surgery Center. As the hospital’s history demonstrates growth, development and transformation, ENH’s enduring commitment remains steadfast in serving the community. Partnerships and joint collaborations on services are ongoing and developing to strengthen services and enhance the quality of care across the region.

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