ECMC files to $2.1M expansion

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 9, 2010 at 7:09 AM EDT

By Business First of Buffalo - by Tracey Drury

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ECMC files to $2.1M expansion

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 9, 2010 at 7:09 AM EDT

A renal center project at Erie County Medical Center is expanding, with plans for 36 outpatient dialysis stations.

Plans filed June 14 with the state Health Department call for shifting 12 additional outpatient stations from Buffalo General Hospital to the Center of Excellence for Renal Disease and Transplant, a free-standing facility planned for ECMC's Grider Street campus.

The original plan called for 24 dialysis stations in an 18,000-square-foot building. The footprint of the facility will now be expanded to 25,000 square feet. Bids are expected to go out this fall with construction expected to begin before year-end, says Mark Barabas, hospital president.

The cost of the additional 12 dialysis stations is pegged at $2.1 million on the state certificate-of-need filing.

The expansion boosts the larger project at ECMC to $24 million, including an inpatient renal services and transplant program inside the main building large enough to accommodate 120 to 150 transplants per year; and creation of a translational research initiative in collaboration with the University at Buffalo medicine and pharmacy research programs.

Funding for the project includes $7.5 million from the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York state. In addition to UB, ECMC is partnering with Kaleida Health on the project through parent Great Lakes Health System of WNY. The merging of ECMC and Kaleida Health's transplant programs also meets the mandates of the state Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, more commonly known as the Berger Commission.

Buffalo General Hospital currently has 22 dialysis stations. The hospital and Kaleida have said they are exploring options for an outpatient facility to meet a need for dialysis stations in the downtown area.

Before construction can begin, the county must complete demolition of several buildings on the ECMC campus by Nov. 30 per an agreement late last year. Barabas says that plan appears to be moving ahead, though demolition has not begun.

County officials said they expect to begin awarding bids by mid-July. Plans call for completing the work this fall.