DeGraff to close ICU, surgical units

Posted at 11:44 AM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 13:12:03-04

Kaleida Health will close the intensive care and surgical units at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda by this fall as part of an overall "rightsizing" plan to keep the facility open.

Services performed in the units being phased out will be shifted to Millard Fillmore Suburban in Amherst by October 1st, according to The Buffalo News.

DeGraff will shrink from a 66-bed medical and surgical facility to a 10-bed unit for patients in need of less critical long-term care.

The hospital will shift its focus to emergency care and break ground next month on a $7.8 million renovation of its emergency department. The department will move from the west side of the hospital to the east side facing Twin City Highway.  The project will more than double the size of the emergency department from 4,800 square feet to 10,000.

DeGraff, the smallest hospital in the Kaleida family, has seen significant drops in patient traffic over the past five years. Since 2012, inpatient surgery has declined 63 percent, outpatient surgery has dropped 54 percent, while inpatient admissions has fallen 33 percent.

At the same time, the hospital has seen emergency room visits increase, from more than 14,000 in 2013 to almost 15,500 in 2015.

All affected DeGraff employees will be able to transfer to other positions within the hospital or at another Kaleida facility, the hospital said.