Kaleida and ECMC unite cardiac service at Gates Institute

February 27, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 11:44 PM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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Kaleida and ECMC unite cardiac service at Gates Institute

February 27, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 11:44 PM EDT

A year after opening its Gates Vascular Institute, Kaleida Health and the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) have announced they will integrate all cardiac services at the site.

All heart surgery, angioplasty and heart attack care will now take place at the GVI on the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus, with ECMC bringing patients to the site for services.

The ECMC campus will continue to provide on-site cardiology medicine services, diagnostic catheterization and thoracic services for trauma patients.

According to a media release, the integration represents the third major initiative between Kaleida Health and ECMC, which operate under the Great Lakes Health umbrella.

"The Gates Vascular Institute is the only center in the country where all of the physicians and scientists focused on vascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, work side by side because of the unique building design," said L. Nelson Hopkins, president of the GVI and chairman of the neurosurgery department in UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "This partnership with ECMC gives us a chance to better serve our community in this new, exciting and award winning facility."

Kaleida Health and ECMC's combined cardiac program account for 8,000 catheterization procedures and nearly 1,000 heart surgeries each year in Western New York.

The GVI, which opened in March 2012, brings together researchers, surgeons, physicians and other clinicians specializing in cardiac, stroke and vascular diseases. ECMC made a $20 million investment in the facility and has worked since its inception to integrate cardiac services at the facility.

The facility is adjacent to Buffalo General Medical Center and houses the BGMC emergency department on its first floor. The upper four floors house the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center as well as the Jacobs Institute.

"When we opened the Gates Vascular Institute, we said it would revolutionize health care in our community," said James Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida and Great Lakes Health. "That is happening today as we combine two cardiac programs under one roof."

Last year, Kaleida and ECMC consolidated their transplant programs within the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care on ECMC's Grider Street campus. The two also are collaborating on a Regional Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, which will see Kaleida's psych services also shift over to the ECMC campus.

All three projects are designed to improve care and create efficiencies between the two systems.

"Working with the Kaleida Health, we continue to see true results of collaboration as we improve healthcare for our entire community," said Jody Lomeo, CEO of ECMC.