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Mercy and Sisters to serve as demonstration sites

Catholic Health's Mercy and Sisters hospitals have been selected, along with four other New York State hospitals, as demonstration sites for a program to enhance obstetrical safety.

Called More OB, short for Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently, the three-year program by the Salus Global Corp., a patient safety performance firm, focuses on performance improvement for caregivers and administrators in hospital obstetrics units.

Trainers work with staff on such issues as making safety a priority, effective communication, teamwork and decreased hierarchy in emergencies.

"By building and sustaining a 'culture of safety' in our labor and delivery units, we are ensuring new moms and their babies have the safest birth experience possible," Aimee Gomlak, vice president of Women's Services for Catholic Health, said in a statement.

The program is funded partially through a $20,900 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation. Catholic Medical Partners, the group that represents physicians affiliated with the hospital system, and Catholic Health also provided support.


Torch Club project earns recognition

A group of preteens within the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns has received an honorable mention -- and a $750 check -- for a community service initiative.

The local Torch Club, a character- and leadership-building group for youth ages 11 to 13, was recognized for "Torch for Unity," a pen pal program in which club members wrote letters to children from Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled.

Linking Hearts & Hands is a national service project sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples Inc. The Northtowns' Torch Club project was among almost 250 entries submitted worldwide.

The check was presented at a recent ceremony at the clubhouse on Riverdale Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda.


Land Conservancy to meet Friday at historic site

LOCKPORT -- The McCollum Orchards & Home, a historic 100-acre property at 248 N. Adam St., will be the site of the 21st annual meeting and reception of the Western New York Land Conservancy from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Andy Zepp, a founder and executive director of Finger Lakes Land Trust, will speak on landscape conservation strategies. The land trust and its partners have permanently protected 11,000 acres of natural and working lands across 12 counties of the Finger Lakes and New York's Southern Tier.

The McCollum property includes farmland and more than 20 acres of designated wetlands at the base of the Niagara Escarpment in Lockport's Lowertown. Established in 1832 by brothers Hiram and Joel McCollum, two of Lockport's founding fathers, the farm has provided apples, pears, vegetables and even ice to generations of residents.

Beverages and hors d'oeuvres featuring local foods will be served at the reception. Admission is $25 for members of the conservancy and $30 for nonmembers.