Catholic Health was awarded three grants from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, totaling more than $1.34 million to support significant health care projects in Western New York. The awards will benefit initiatives that address diverse, vital needs in health care in the Buffalo-Niagara Region: sustaining quality health care in Niagara County; increasing health equity; and improving the mental health of older adults.
The largest of the three awards, a $1 million grant, will support construction and services at Lockport Memorial Hospital, which will become a campus of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. Located in the Town of Lockport off South Transit and Shimer roads, Catholic Health broke ground on the “neighborhood hospital” in November, and expects it to open in the second quarter of 2023.
A press release noted, “The neighborhood hospital model creates a hospital that is right-sized for the local community, featuring state-of-the-art emergency, inpatient medical, imaging and laboratory services, as well as office space for primary care, women’s health, and other specialty medical practices.”
Catholic Health first unveiled plans to build the 60,000-square-foot hospital in October 2020 after Eastern Niagara Hospital entered into a management agreement with the health system. The new hospital will preserve access to needed medical care for more than 80,000 residents across the region. To prevent gaps in care, Eastern Niagara will remain open until the new hospital is completed.
Catholic Health stated, “A $240,260 award from Cabrini Health Foundation will be used to connect the diverse communities that make up Buffalo’s West Side with the primary care service offered at the Sisters Health Center (SHC), located in the Health Professions Hub at D’Youville College. A multidimensional outreach program will focus on residents living in poverty, immigrants and people of color. The project includes community building and cultural competency training with partner agencies serving the West Side, deploying community health workers who are able to address barriers to care, distributing culturally responsive communications, and hosting community events focused on health and wellness.
“The Sisters Health Center opened in June 2021 to ensure people have easy access to high-quality primary care – the first step in improving one’s health and the health of the community.”
Sisters Health Center offers comprehensive family medicine services for both students and the community, including annual physicals for children, adolescents and adults; women’s services; sick and well pediatric services; routine health screenings; vaccinations; medical management for chronic medical conditions; and referrals for specialty care.
Maintaining independence for older adults is at the heart of the Living Independently For Elders (LIFE) program, Catholic Health’s Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which was awarded $100,000 from the Cabrini Health Foundation to purchase new technology.
Catholic Health stated, “Over the past two years, participants in the LIFE program have demonstrated a greater reluctance to leave their homes due to the pandemic, which has resulted in increased isolation and higher rates of depression. Through virtual programming with ‘GrandPads,’ the LIFE staff has been able to break through this isolation.”
“GrandPads” are electronic tablets designed with older adults in mind, featuring larger buttons and an intuitive interface making it easier to use among seniors who may not be familiar with today’s technology.
Catholic Health noted, “LIFE participants are able to keep in touch with their clinical team, as well as family and friends, even if they’ve had little or no experience with smartphones, computers or tablets. GrandPads help keep them active, entertained and engaged from the comfort and safety of their own home.”
Catholic Health President and CEO Mark Sullivan said, “We are extremely grateful to the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for these generous awards, which recognize Catholic Health’s dedication to our community and help support our efforts to transform health care throughout Western New York. These forward-thinking health care projects reflect our innovative approach and commitment to answering community needs, which are interwoven with our mission, ‘to reveal the healing love of Jesus to all.’ ”
Catholic Health stated it “has been at the forefront of working in Erie and Niagara Country to address the region’s most pressing health care needs.”
It is estimated that more than 80,000 individuals will be served by the grants awarded by Mother Cabrini. The health foundation is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of vulnerable communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services.
Named after an advocate for immigrants, children and the poor, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation funds programs and initiatives across New York that either provide direct health care services or address the social determinants of health. For more information, visit https://www.cabrinihealth.org/.