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ECMC Reports Profit, Unveils Plan for Heart Center

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Medical Center Wednesday reported a nearly $8 million surplus for 2006.

The hospital also announced plans to build a $92 million, state-of-the-art cardiac care facility. The state Department of Health would have to grant approval for the plan to go forward.

ECMC officials argue that the region is lacking comprehensive, high quality heart care. CEO Michael Young says ECMC is the logical place for such a facility.

"We get more transfers in for our emergency cardiac care than any other hospital in Western New York," Young said. "The Berger Commission itself articulates the need for Western New York for a separate heart center."

But officials with Kaleida Health say the plan was a secret to them. A spokesman for Kaleida called the announcement irresponsible and the timing suspicious. The two organizations have been in merger talks for three months under a directive of the state's Berger Report on hospital consolidations.