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KeyBank donates $600,000 for new ECMC emergency department

KeyBank announced a $600,000 donation today for Erie County Medical Center's project to build a new emergency department/trauma center on its Grider Street campus.

The grant was made by the KeyBank Foundation in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation.

“This new, state-of-the-art trauma center will enhance the quality care ECMC provides to thousands of patients each year and allow the hospital to grow and thrive,” Gary Quenneville, KeyBank Upstate New York regional executive, said in a statement.

A capital campaign so far has raised $9 million toward the project's $55 million cost. It includes three $1 million donations from the Russell J. Salvatore Foundation, John R. Oishei Foundation, and Seneca Diabetes Foundation.

Plans call for a 54,000-square-foot facility on the west side of the medical center with 54 treatment stations – including four dedicated trauma rooms, two behavioral health safe rooms, two isolation rooms and four medical resuscitation rooms. That’s compared to the current 32 emergency stations and four trauma rooms, and 26,000 square feet.

ECMC recorded 69,290 visits to the emergency department in 2016, roughly double the number since the last time the emergency room space received a substantial renovation in the late 1990s, according to the hospital.

Those total visits in 2016 included 12,247 patients routed to the hospital’s regional Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program. ECMC also operates the region’s adult Level 1 trauma center, an area of the emergency department staffed to treat the most extreme injuries, such as from car crashes, major burns and gunshot wounds.

ECMC officials have said the current emergency room often operates over its capacity at a time when the number of patients is expected to increase as the area's elderly population increases.

The new facility will stand on ground level near the current emergency department's ambulance ramp, a section of which was recently razed. A temporary down ramp is in place for ambulances to access the current emergency room while construction is underway.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

"We're doing site preparation work now, and everything is on track," said Peter Cutler, vice president of communications and external affairs.

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