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Children's Hospital Will Stay on Bryant Street

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Governor Pataki announced an agreement with Kaleida Health Wednesday to maintain Children's Hospital as a freestanding facility on Bryant Street.

The announcement reversed plans by Kaleida executives to close the hospital and move its services into one of the system's adult facilities. Dozens of Children's pediatricians and staff members jammed a hospital auditorium to hear Pataki.

"After significant and lengthy discussions, the Kaleida Health management and representatives of employees, community groups, and pediatricians have reached an agreement to keep Children's Hospital at its Bryant Street location," Pataki said. "This agreement will pave the way to build a strong and lasting healthcare partnership within the Kaleida Health system. More importantly, it will help ensure high quality care for women and children in a facility within their community."

Kaleida Health lost $52.8 million in 2001. Pataki says the state will help the health system restructure its debt through the state Dormitory Authority, the federal Housing Administration and Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Pataki says federal funding will be pursued for construction of a new ambulatory surgery center on the Bryant Street campus.

Also under yesterday's agreement, the Kaleida board retains responsibility for Children's Hospital. But an advisory council will be appointed to make recommendations on issues relating to Children's.

"Today's agreement has been reached as a result of collaboration and compromise, with a focus on our common goal the best possible health care for Western New York's children," said William McGuire, Kaleida president and CEO. "We appreciate the fine efforts by Women and Children First, the Kaleida Board and Governor Pataki in helping to bring about a solution that's in the best interest of the entire community."