Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo joined Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, along with board members, donors, physicians, elected officials, community members and patient families to celebrate the formal dedication of the new Oishei Children's Hospital. The invitation-only event drew nearly 600 attendees and featured current and former patients and their families, along with performances by the St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Varsity Singers and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
To commemorate the historic day, event speakers each contributed a personal memento to the Oishei Children’s Hospital’s Time Capsule, which will be buried in front of the new hospital prior to move day on November 10.
Patient volunteers from the Stone's Buddies program escorted speakers to the podium and presented Governor Cuomo with a large thank you card to show their gratitude for the state's $35 million commitment to the hospital and his unwavering support for the project.
Speakers included Frank Curci, chair, Kaleida Health Board of Directors, and chairman and CEO, Tops Friendly Markets; Jody Lomeo, president and CEO, Kaleida Health; Garett Rumfola, Stone’s Buddies member and current patient at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Governor Andrew Cuomo, State of New York; Robert D. Gioia, president, The John R. Oishei Foundation; Steven Lana, MD, pediatrician, Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo; Jody Kotowski, mother of current patient at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo; Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz; Mayor Byron Brown; Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, 141st District, New York State; United States Representative Brian Higgins, 26th District, State of New York; and Mary Teresa Comerate, current patient at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.
The new Oishei Children’s Hospital will open on Friday, November 10.
“We recognize that it’s not a right, but a privilege for us to have a children’s hospital in Buffalo,” said Lomeo at the event. “We are so fortunate to be one of 43 standalone children’s hospitals in the country and the only standalone children’s hospital in New York State. It’s our great honor to be able to deliver a new facility. We are proud to introduce you to our ‘labor of love’ here today.”
As the event concluded, attendees were given the opportunity to take guided tours through the new world-class facility.
To see some highlights from the event, watch the video below.