Grants, awarded through FEMA, support COVID-related emergency expenses
Congressman Brian Higgins announced grants totaling over $17.1 million to hospitals in Western New York. The awards were made through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist hospitals with urgent needs related to the national health emergency.
“The pandemic has presented uncertainty, fear, challenges and risks many of us never imagined,” Higgins said. “Thankfully, Western New York is home to a strong network of hospitals filled with the most dedicated health care providers and staff, who have worked tirelessly and compassionately to help get this community through such a difficult time. These federal resources provide a level of reimbursement for the unanticipated expenses hospitals and health centers incurred to keep people safe.”
Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) was awarded $1,954,846 in federal funding for emergency protective measures for staff, patients and visitors at the main hospital campus and several outside clinics. The grant supports the costs associated with a range of supplies from thermometers and nebulizers to N95 masks and cleaning supplies.
A total of $7,590,666 was granted to Kaleida Health, which serves the community at its four hospitals, long-term care facilities, various outpatient centers, and through its operation of the Visiting Nursing Association of WNY. The federal funding supports the purchase of personal protective equipment and the rental of patient ventilators.
The Catholic Health System, which employs 9,000 people and operates four hospitals in Erie and Niagara counties, 75 outpatient sites, and long-term care facilities, was awarded $7,571,831. The grant provides reimbursement for personal protective equipment including facemasks, gowns, head and foot coverings, disinfectant and other supplies.
A major disaster designation was requested by New York state and declared by the federal government in March of 2020, making state and local governments – as well as certain nonprofit entities – eligible for federal assistance due to the pandemic.