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Sports-themed 'One Buffalo' waiting room to be part of new ECMC emergency room

A sports-themed "One Buffalo" waiting room will be part of Erie County Medical Center's future emergency room, officials at the Buffalo hospital announced Friday.

A rendering of the new waiting room unveiled Friday at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new $55 million trauma center and emergency department showed Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Bandits and "One Buffalo" logos on the walls. Pegula Sports and Entertainment and the Buffalo Bills Foundation donated $1 million toward the project.

The new emergency department is designed to double the size of the existing 50-year-old facility and will serve patients for trauma, emergency psychiatric conditions, as well as traditional medical conditions, hospital officials said.

"As the region's busiest and only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and Emergency Department serving the 1.5 million residents of the eight counties of Western New York, it is imperative to expand to meet current and future demands for appropriate trauma and emergency care," said Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., ECMC's President and Chief Executive Officer in a written statement.

As of April, a capital campaign had raised more than $9 million toward the project’s $55 million cost. That includes four $1 million donations – from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, the Russell J. Salvatore Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, and the Seneca Diabetes Foundation – as well as a $600,000 donation from KeyBank.

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 26,000 square feet, 32 emergency stations and four trauma rooms. The existing facilities will be relocated into the new facility when it opens, the hospital said.

In addition, all of the 54 treatment rooms will be private with sliding glass doors and curtains. Currently, some are private, but many are not, hospital officials said.

"The new Emergency Department will incorporate design features that allow for greater efficiencies in patient flow and will enable the department's medical team to achieve high quality outcomes," said Dr. Michael A. Manka Jr., the hospital's chief of Emergency Medicine in a written statement. "The customized layout of the space will better align with physicians' and staff's work flow while creating a more patient-oriented space containing larger rooms to accommodate patients' families and the medical team."

The project is expected to provide 200 construction jobs and about 100 new permanent jobs that will be phased in. Currently, there are about 225 employees that include physicians, physician assistants, nurses and support staff, hospital officials said.

Originally opened in 1978 to accommodate 35,000-40,000 patients annually, the current facility had reached patient levels of nearly 70,000 for both 2016 and 2017, and patient volumes are expected to reach over 75,000 annually by 2024, officials said.


Another view of the "One Buffalo" waiting room that will be part of Erie County Medical Center's new $55 million emergency department. (Artist rendering provided by Erie County Medical Center)

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