Weekly Feature

2017-10-11 / Front Page

Upgrades progress at DeGraff Memorial Hospital


A plan to relocate and expand the emergency department at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda is underway. The Kaleida Health system recently broke ground on its $7.8 million emergency department renovation.

The project is the focus of “DeGraff 2020,” Kaleida Health’s proposal for the future configuration of the hospital.

“The new state-of-the-art emergency department is a critical part of the future success of DeGraff Memorial Hospital and demonstrates that the hospital is here to stay,” said Darcy Craven, the hospital’s president. “It will allow DeGraff to continue delivering the personalized care that the community has relied upon for over 100 years.”

The emergency department currently stands on the west side of the hospital campus. The plan is to relocate it to the east side — fronting the Twin City Highway — to allow for better access, parking and visibility for patients, families and visitors.

According to the hospital, the expansion calls for 17 treatment bays, including a trauma room, a dedicated bariatric room and an airborne isolation room. Additionally, it will include a decontamination area suitable for current and emerging infectious diseases.

To better assist geriatric patients, DeGraff will use nonglare lighting, slip-proof flooring, increased family space and signage with oversized lettering.

Last renovated in 1975, the space will more than double from 4,800 square feet to 10,000 square feet, the hospital said.

“This is an important investment for not only the hospital, but the entire Northtowns community,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “DeGraff Memorial Hospital remains an important part of Kaleida Health and is the gateway from Niagara County into our organization for services like stroke, cardiac, vascular and pediatrics.”

As patient volume increases in the emergency department, the need for a larger and more contemporary facility has been significant, according to Dr. Jill Pawlowski, the hospital’s director of emergency medicine.

“This new expansion is focused on creating the best possible experience for patients and their families and enable us to provide better and more efficient emergency medical services to our community 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said.

According to the hospital, more than 1,000 inpatient cases are generated annually from DeGraff into Kaleida Health facilities.

Also included in the “De- Graff 2020” plan is a focus on emergency department access, infusion services, wound care and its geriatric clinic and outpatient services, such as imaging, lab, rehabilitation services and gastrointestinal.

The Pike Company will serve as the construction manager for the project with Wendel Architects & Engineers as the architect.

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