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Giambra Calls for Halt to Hospital Advertising War

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is calling for a stop to the air wars -- the series of ads in the local media that pit one hospital over another in the wake of recommendations to close and merge area health care institutions.

Perhaps you've seen the full page ads in the "Buffalo News." They're also prevalent on radio and television. And some are getting pretty nasty. County Executive Giambra says advertisements attacking ECMC and Kaleida Health are inappropriate and counterproductive.

Instead of telling Canadian patients about the quality care available in our area, Giambra says the ads are sending a message that ECMC and Kaleida are at war.

The Berger Commission is recommending that ECMC and Kaleida's Buffalo General Hospital merge. In a letter sent to the board chairs of the two institutions Monday, Giambra says they should stop the bitterness and negotiate.

Even if they're not directly responsible, he says both ECMC and Kaleida should call on the organizations sponsoring the ads to withdraw them.

Giambra says taxpayer money does not benefit one hospital over another. He says the millions of dollars in taxpayer money spent on Medicaid benefit ECMC and Kaleida hospitals alike.