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Businessman donates $5 million to help build new children’s hospital

Buffalo-area businessman Sal H. Alfiero donated $5 million Thursday for a new children’s hospital downtown, saying the institution is an important and enduring piece of the region’s health care landscape.

The gift is the largest personal donation in a $40 million fundraising campaign for the proposed $200 million facility, which will go up at Ellicott and High streets, across from and connected by a walkway to Buffalo General Medical Center.

Alfiero is the founder and former chairman of Mark IV Industries, an automotive components manufacturer.

He and his family have been active at Women & Children’s Hospital for 32 consecutive years. They were major donors for a new helipad and the renovation of the pediatric intensive care unit, which was renamed the Alfiero Family Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Alfiero has served on numerous committees and the hospital’s governing board, including as chairman. He also was a founding director of Kaleida Health, the parent organization of Women & Children’s Hospital.

“I’m delighted to have made contributions over the years,” he said at a ceremony to mark his donation in Hyatt Regency Buffalo. Alfiero said the new facility will help with recruitment of new physicians.

So far, $21.5 million has been raised toward the $40 million fundraising goal. In recent months, the John R. Oishei Foundation donated $10 million for the project, and the Children’s Guild Foundation pledged $2 million for the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital.

James Kaskie, chief executive officer of Kaleida Health, described Alfiero has a “wonderful patron” of Women & Children’s Hospital who was generous with both his money and time.

Women & Children’s is moving from its longtime Bryant Street location in the Elmwood Village to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Ground-breaking for the new facility, which will be renamed the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, is expected in the spring and completion in early 2016. Plans are to name the emergency department the Sal H. Alfiero Family Emergency Care Center.

The 10-floor hospital will include a range of specialized pediatric services and a family resource center. A Women’s Pavilion will house labor and delivery, postpartum care, the regional perinatal center for high-risk pregnancies and a women’s health center for prenatal and gynecological care.

In addition, officials announced earlier this month that Kaleida Health and Roswell Park Cancer Institute will combine services they now provide in separate locations to care for young patients with cancer and blood diseases on one floor of the hospital.