CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Catholic Health announced Friday plans to redevelop Sisters of Charity Hospital St. Joseph Campus into a center for outpatient and ambulatory care.
According to Catholic Health, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic it was preparing to implement its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan but it was put on hold.
The health system says with COVID-19 admission declining and the vaccine being rolled out, it now plans to move forward.
“A key component of our strategic plan is to continue to build regional centers of excellence across Catholic Health to better meet the needs of our community and advance our journey of national recognition for quality and patient safety,” said Mark Sullivan, President & CEO of Catholic Health.
The plans for St. Joseph Campus, the health system's main COVID treatment center, will be to redevelop it into a center for outpatient and ambulatory care. Plans also include development of an in-patient unit for substance use treatment services.
“Like many hospitals regionally and nationally pre-COVID, St. Joseph Campus was seeing a sharp decline in its inpatient volume,” said Sullivan. “With more and more healthcare services being provided on an outpatient basis, the location and design of St. Joseph Campus lends itself to becoming an active and thriving ambulatory care center with a concentrated focus on emergency, endoscopy/GI, orthopaedic, and rehabilitation services.”
The campus will resume orthopaedic surgery on March 29. Plans call for the expansion of the program and all orthopaedic cases being shifted from Sisters' Main St. Campus to St. Joseph Campus.
St. Joseph Campus will also reopen its Emergency Department in early May following some facility improvements. Under its new ambulatory care model patients who need to be admitted for a higher level of care will be stabilized and transferred to other Catholic Health facilities.
Officials say as COVID numbers decline, the campus will gradually close its ICU and most of its in-patient nursing units. It will stop admitting COVID patients on April 1. Remaining COVID patients are isolated on a closer floor with separate transport routes and restricted access.
Catholic Health says due to the transition some clinical and non-clinical positions will be eliminated or transitioned to other roles.
“Our goal is to offer impacted staff comparable employment opportunities within our system,” Sullivan said. “Working with our Union partners, our aim is to main-tain wages and benefits for associates who are affected by these changes. We thank the CWA and SEIU for working with us to support our associates.”