Branded AMR ambulance on Move Day

After years of construction, planning and practice, the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital officially opened on Friday, November 10 after 125 inpatient moms, kids and infants from Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo were safely and individually transported to the new hospital located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The historic move commenced at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, November 10 as care providers, specialized pediatric and neonatal transport teams, along with the hospital’s partners at American Medical Response (AMR), began transporting patients individually by ambulance, making the 1.2-mile trip to the new hospital in less than 12 hours.

It was a much-anticipated milestone for the hundreds of physicians, nurses, staff, volunteers and community agencies and partners involved in carrying out the complex logistical move, including critical timing and the delicate transport of the community’s most vulnerable patients from Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to the new Oishei Children's Hospital. 

Jody Lomeo, President & CEO of Kaleida Health, Cassie Church, Clinical Move Manager, Stephen Turkovich, M.D., Chief Medical Offer at Oishei Children’s Hospital and Scott Karaszewski, Chief EMS Officer at American Medical Response (AMR), provided periodic move updates throughout the day. After the last patient was tucked into their bed at Oishei Children’s Hospital at 5:42 p.m., the team provided a final update. “Our teams worked tirelessly for thousands of hours to ensure we safely moved our patients to their new home 1.2 miles away and today, we did it and we made history,” said Jody Lomeo, President & CEO of Kaleida Health.

The Command Center located at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo opened at 5:00 a.m. on move day and ensured a streamlined communication process throughout the day, such as troubleshooting various technical and equipment issues and monitoring the progress of each patient who was transported. Satellite command centers located at other sites included Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center and the Larkin Building, ensured a broader footprint and shared resources. A Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Command Center was also fully operational at neighboring Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), which serves as the region’s only Level I Adult Trauma Center.

To show their support, KeyBank donated $300,000 to underwrite all non-labor move day costs, including providing welcome bags to patients and families and feeding over 1,000 staff members and volunteers who worked to make move day possible.

As a result of an unprecedented $10 million donation in 2012, the new hospital was named after industrialist and philanthropist John R. Oishei, a native Buffalonian credited with inventing and manufacturing the windshield wiper at Trico Products Corporation in Buffalo, NY. He also established The John R. Oishei Foundation in 1940, a charitable organization dedicated to the betterment of children and families through health and education.

The new 400,000-square-foot hospital replaces the 125-year-old facility on Bryant Street and aims to consolidate and right-size care in a new setting. Constructed and designed with children and families in mind by Boston-based architecture firm, Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott, the bright colors, 360-degree views of the city and distinct Buffalo-inspired theming on each floor enables families to navigate the new space with ease. Enhanced cultural collaborations and programming by local musicians and artists from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Gallery and the Darwin D. Martin House Complex, amongst others, aims to harness the power of the arts to provide patients and their families with a physical, mental and emotional healing experience.

The $270 million project that resulted in the 12-floor, 185-bed, modern facility serves as one of only 43 standalone children’s hospitals in the U.S. and the only standalone children’s hospital in New York State. Oishei Children’s Hospital is the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric trauma, surgical and medical care, including neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services. It is an integral part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, an innovative and collaborative space in the heart of downtown Buffalo, that benefits from physical links to Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.

Oishei Children’s Hospital is the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric trauma, surgical and medical care, including neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services. Oishei Children’s Hospital is the only access point for pediatric critical care as the region’s only pediatric Level I Trauma Center. It also serves as the only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Western New York. The hospital enjoys a worldwide reputation for innovation and research and also provides highly specialized care and treatment through an array of outpatient services.