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ECMC opens expanded center for orthopedic care, services

Erie County Medical Center opened an expanded outpatient orthopedic center Thursday, designed to improve patients’ experiences and provide added safety features, hospital officials said.

The $1.8 million project quadrupled the size of the previous clinic from 1,750 square feet to 6,900 square feet, according to plans filed with the state Health Department. The new clinic is on the first floor of the main building on ECMC’s Grider Street campus.

The expansion increases the number of examination rooms from eight to 14 and includes a larger registration and checkout area, dedicated physician and nurse work areas and handrails for patient safety along all corridors.

The original orthopedic clinic opened in 1978 and today consistently operates at or near its capacity, hospital officials said in their filing with state regulators.

Demand for elective orthopedic surgeries is rising, especially for total joint replacements, according to ECMC. Between 2010 and 2015, patient visits to the original clinic rose by about 46 percent, the hospital said.

The opening of the expanded unit, named the Center for Orthopedic Care, comes a year after ECMC unveiled 22 private inpatient rooms for orthopedic patient recovery.

The rooms, in two units on the sixth floor, are named after Buffalo restaurateur and former patient Russell J. Salvatore, who contributed $500,000 to the $12.5 million project.