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$300,000 Salvatore donation aids Brothers of Mercy clinic

A $300,000 donation from Russell J. Salvatore will revive an outpatient rehabilitation clinic that the Brothers of Mercy had proposed but never built several years ago for its Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clarence.

The Brothers of Mercy already had received approval from the state Health Department to build a $700,000, 2,400-square-foot expansion on its Bergtold Road campus, and the organization received a $48,500 Oishei Foundation grant to help pay for the clinic, said Peter Eimer, the center’s chief operating officer. But the Brothers of Mercy never raised enough money for the facility and had to put the project on hold.

Still, officials said, demand for the clinic remained high from patients who had received inpatient rehab at the center and sought to return for outpatient services.

Salvatore’s donation, which will resurrect the project, came after the Brothers of Mercy approached the restaurateur about donating new TVs to the center’s inpatient rehab rooms, which he did last fall. The center still has the Oishei grant and will work with other foundations to raise the rest of the money for the clinic.

Eimer said the Health Department will have to provide an updated approval for the project, which likely will come this summer. Construction would begin immediately after and be completed by the end of the year.

The cost of the project includes furniture and equipment purchased for the clinic, and some of the 2,400 square feet will allow for future general expansion of the center, Eimer said. Perhaps two or three new workers would be hired to staff the clinic, he said.