New Children's Hospital takes step ahead

May 29, 2013 Updated May 29, 2013 at 7:33 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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New Children's Hospital takes step ahead

May 29, 2013 Updated May 29, 2013 at 7:33 AM EDT

State regulators have recommended approval for the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital project, leaving just one more step before the project can proceed.

The establishment and project review committee of the Public Health and Health Planning Council within the state Department of Health approved the project May 23, sending it on to the full council for consideration at its June 6 meeting.

Kaleida Health has been working on the project for over a year. Plans call for opening a 12-story hospital in early 2016 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, which would take the place of the existing Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo facility on Bryant Street.

According to data filed with the DOH, the total project cost of $237 million relies on $30 million from fundraising efforts, $13 million from the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo Foundation; $43 million from an equipment loan and the remaining $150.8 million balance financed over 25 years.

Already, more than $30 million has been raised toward the $42 million fundraising goal, including a $10 million naming-rights gift from the John R. Oishei Foundation; $5 million from businessman Sal Alfiero and his family; $3 million from Fisher-Price Inc. and Mattel Inc.; $2 million apiece from the Children's Guild Foundation and New Era Cap Co.; and $1 million from the James H. Cummings Foundation.

In a hospital statement, hospital pediatrician-in-chief Dr. Teresa Quattrin called the DOH approval a significant step forward.

"The idea of building a new facility is to take what we have on Bryant Street, which is very good, and make it better for those we serve," she said. "We are so fortunate to have the Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo here. We must be committed to ensure its future and its new home."

The new hospital will include pediatric medical subspecialists, the region's largest neonatal intensive care unit, a Regional Pediatric Trauma Center and pediatric neurosurgery. A Women's Pavilion will provide labor and delivery and additional women's health services, with the hospital connected by bridge directly to the adult surgical floor of the Buffalo General Medical Center.

Additionally, the top floor will house a pediatric oncology unit in collaboration with Roswell Park Cancer Institute.