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Redone orthopedic floor unveiled

Buffalo General President Michael Nagowski believes the look of the hospital's 16th-floor orthopedic facility is now as appealing as the talent of the hospital's orthopedic surgeon team.

"We have the highest quality of orthopedic surgeons here," said Nagowski. "Now the patient environment begins to make a statement, too."

Kaleida Health representatives held an open house Monday to unveil a completely renovated orthopedic floor at Buffalo General Hospital.

More than $350,000 was invested in the project, which added a hardwood look, 28 private rooms, seven semi-private rooms, nurse documentation stations outside each room and a teaching suite for orthopedic patient education.

"The main issue here is the patient," said Dr. Kenneth Krackow, an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital. "But the work areas have improved also. There is more computing power, more space, and in the rebuilding process things were sterilized. A lot of the surface areas have anti-septic features. There is a lot less chance of infection."

For Jenni Kosowski, 15, a patient recovering from spinal fusion surgery, the renovated room offers a "closer-to-home" environment for her and her family.

"It's nice for my parents," said Jenni. "My mom was probably the next one going in for back surgery if it weren't for moving us up to this floor. She was sleeping in a chair in my room downstairs [on the 11th floor]."

The 16th-floor patient rooms feature new furniture, including a pull-out sofa in each room to accommodate overnight visitors.

"This will really help tonight," said Jenni's father, Carl. "My wife can stay with her and be comfortable."

Jenni, although pleased with the privacy of her own room, doesn't think it will stop the other patients from hearing her during the Sabres "12 to Remember" broadcast. "If anyone hears me screaming, it's because the Sabres scored," said Jenni.

So for Jenni, her new room is home for now, and that is what Cathy Yablonski, director of hospital operations, liked to hear.

"The whole concept was started by asking, 'Where do you feel comfortable?,' " said Yablonski. "At home you do. We wanted to make the rooms nicer for friends and families, not just the patients. And the views up here are beautiful."

e-mail: lmariacher@buffnews.com

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