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Consultant Recommends Moving Children's to Gates Circle

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – A consultant advising Kaleida Health is offering several recommendations for resolving the system's financial problems. Doctors at Children's Hospital have learned that one of them calls for moving Children's to Millard Fillmore Hospital on Gates Circle. In response, an effort is underway that could lead to Children's becoming independent of Kaleida.

The Hunter Group, a national health care consulting firm, has been working with the Kaleida board for about three months now. Children's pediatrician Steve Lana says he has not see anything in writing about what Hunter is recommending. But he says they have received bits of information about moving the hospital to Gates Circle.

In a prepared statement, Kaleida chairman Gerald Lippes says no final decisions regarding the future of Children's or any other of its hospitals have been made. Lana says Kaleida has reached out to him and others.

"We were actually contacted by Mr. Lippes on January 15th and asked to develop an alternative to closing the hospital and moving services to Millard Fillmore Gates," Lana said.

The result, says Lana, was the formation of a group called Women and Children First. Its members have been working with their own consultant to evaluate the feasibility of a free-standing center of excellence for women and children on Bryant Street.

State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt says strongly condemned any talk of moving Children's to Gates Circle.

"It would destroy Children's Hospital," Hoyt said. "Children's is perhaps the single greatest asset that we have in this region. It's an internationally-recognized center of excellence taking care of children."

Children's physician Steve Lana said it's his understanding the Kaleida board won't be making any decisions until his group is able to present its case for keeping the hospital on Bryant Street.