Transformation journey brings $8.3 million in upgrades to Memorial Medical Center
A determined effort to address community healthcare needs has led to series of investments totaling more than $8 million in building, equipment and technology upgrades by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Many of the improvements are either complete or in process, the latest being a million dollars of sophisticated cardiac monitoring equipment for the emergency department, intensive care unit and telemetry floors and new fetal monitors for labor and delivery.
The process began in 2008 when the downtown medical center commissioned a community healthcare needs assessment for western Niagara County. The hospital’s board of directors and senior administration spent the next year prioritizing those needs and strategizing a plan of attack.
The result was an 88-point, three-year business plan approved in late 2009 – a plan that is now coming to fruition.
“This is all under the umbrella of our roadmap for transformation from a traditional safety net hospital to a center for community health in collaboration with other providers. Our goal all along has been to better meet needs of the community while positioning ourselves for healthcare reform,” Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.
That transformation journey has led to a number of successes including:
• The establishment of primary care physician offices in Niagara Falls, Wheatfield and Grand Island.
Earlier this year, Memorial partnered with DaVita, a national provider of quality kidney care, to assume responsibility for the provision of renal dialysis services on the Memorial campus.
The medical center has worked hard to reduce expenditures and increase cash flows to support this transformation, Memorial Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Sheila K. Kee said.
“Our fiscal discipline paid dividends this week when we were able to refinance more than $14.3 million of long-term debt at a much lower interest rate,” Ms. Kee said. “We conservatively estimate that transaction will save Memorial more than $2.3 million in debt repayments over the next 24 years.”
Still to come are a number of projects for which plans are in place. Among them:
• A new $1.3 million interventional radiology suite.
Innovative patient care programs are also being developed. Among them: an integrated center for primary care and addiction planned in partnership with Horizon Health Services. If approved by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services the integrated center will be the first of its kind in Niagara County.
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