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Eastern Niagara Hospital ends dialysis, radiology, urgent care, and maternity programs

Posted at 5:14 PM, May 02, 2019

NEWFANE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Eastern Niagara Hospital is discontinuing its dialysis, urgent care, radiology programs at its Newfane location, and ending its maternity services in Lockport.

These changes will take effect in the next two months with 33 full-time jobs being cut. This is all part of its "2020 Transformation Plan" which it says will save the hospital $2.1 million dollars.

In a statement, ENH said, "It can no longer maintain services with low volume or those that incur extensive losses on an ongoing basis. ENH also cannot sustain multiple specialties at numerous sites throughout the region. The financial losses are impacting the entire organization and it can no longer operate in this manner."

According to the press release, population decrease in Niagara County and woman choosing to give birth at other area hospital has created these financial struggles.

With that being said, ENH hopes that it can divert attention and resources to other programs to better serve its patients.

“As our new emergency department project progresses, it will heighten our ability to provide a much higher level of emergency services and acute care for the entire eastern Niagara County region. This will clearly be our vision for the future and the cornerstone of care we provide to our community," Anne McCaffrey, President and CEO of ENH said in the statement.

This isn't sitting well with Justine Miller, though. She has two children and has used the urgent care facility in Newfane four times in the past year. Most recently, she took her then seven-month-old son to urgent care when he had thrush. He was okay, but the trip left a bad feeling with her.

"That's constantly on my mind what am I going to do in an event of an emergency," Miller, who lives in Olcott, said.

Miller also lives with her sister who has a one-year-old daughter and a three-year-old who is prone to seizures with special needs. Miller takes care of the kids when her sister is at work. With urgent care closing, she may have to travel to Erie County for any medical attention the children may need.

"Its pretty worrisome for me if I can’t get somewhere quick," Miller said.

These programs will be ending in the next two moths. However, ENH said it will work with its dialysis patients to find new locations for treatment before officially closing down.

Here is a full breakdown of the "2020 Transformation Plan" as it is written in the press release:

· Planning for the emergency room expansion project
· Seeking state grants for debt relief and IT implementation
· Investing in UBMD Emergency Medicine
· Investing in Great Lakes Medical Imaging
· Discontinuing maternity at ENH’s Lockport site
· Discontinuing dialysis, radiology services and Express Care at the Newfane site
· Discontinuing the LECOM Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency Program
· Assisting current residents in transferring into other LECOM training programs
· Continuing family medicine clinic at 475 Transit Street
· Achieving and maintaining DNV-GL accreditation