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Home > News Room > Memorial dedicates new Heart Center of Niagara/ER1

Memorial dedicates new Heart Center of Niagara/ER1

More than 500 guests were on hand Jan. 26 as Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center dedicated its new, $20 million ER1 Emergency Department and The Heart Center of Niagara.

The 56,400-square-foot facility is the only fully-integrated emergency department and cardiology service using advanced, non-invasive diagnostic technology in the Northeast. It is located at 571 10th Street, Niagara Falls, and is connected to the medical center by an overhead walkway that spans Walnut Avenue.

Featured speakers at Thursday’s ceremony, held in the center’s spacious first-floor waiting area, were U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Louise Slaughter.

The facility’s first floor features a 22,000-square-foot emergency department that can accommodate 25 patients at a time: 12 medical, three triage, four “fast track,” four behavioral health and two trauma. Patient capacity is quickly expandable by converting the ER1 waiting room for use as a triage area in the event of a disaster or mass casualty incident. A self-contained decontamination room for use by patients involved in chemical, biological or nuclear incidents is located in the building.

The new ER1 features a paperless clinical patient tracking system designed to speed incoming patients through the admission and treatment process along with bedside monitors, adult and pediatric crash carts, portable ventilators and portable EKG machines.

Led by Dr. Steven Lopez, Memorial’s chief of emergency services, every physician in ER1 is fellowship trained and board certified by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The ER1 nursing staff is supervised by Emergency Room Director Laura Hickey, RN.

The new ER1 is scheduled to open Feb. 8.

The Heart Center of Niagara, housed on the second floor, specializes in the early detection of coronary disease as well as cardiac disease reversal. It features a wide range of hospital-operated cardiology services including CT scanning (the GE LightSpeed), nuclear medicine, echocardiography, nuclear imaging, stress testing and cardiac rehabilitation. Included in The Heart Center are eight private practice cardiology patient exam rooms and two PET (Positron Emission Tomography) suites.

Three board certified cardiologists – Medical Director Dr. Michael Merhige, Dr. Robert Neufeld, and congestive heart failure specialist Dr. Susan Graham, who formerly led the heart transplant program at Buffalo General Hospital, will be seeing patients there.

The Heart Center of Niagara will move into its new home from its current location on Memorial Medical Center’s ground floor in mid-February.

The new building was constructed by Savarino Construction Services, Inc. Architect for the project is Carmina & Wood, PC.

In his prepared remarks, Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo referred to a quote from Sen. Clinton, who once noted: “For centuries, New York has served as the gateway for millions of people from all over the world in search of the American dream.”

“Today is the day Niagara Falls, New York, serves notice that it’s ready to assume its rightful place as the gateway for people from all over the Eastern United States and Southern Ontario in search of better health and brighter future,” Ruffolo said.


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