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Health Commissioner Appoints Board to Oversee Merged Kaleida and ECMC

By Mark Scott


Buffalo, NY – State Health Commissioner Richard Daines has created a board of trustees to oversee a combined Kaleida Health System and Erie County Medical Center. Daines has charged the board with finalizing a unified governance system by the end of the year.

Kaleida and ECMC failed to reach agreement on their own. So, it was expected that Commissioner Daines would intervene. That happened late Wednesday afternoon.

Daines appointed a 15 member board. Three members each will come from Kaleida, ECMC and the University at Buffalo. There will be five members representing the Buffalo community at large. The 15th member will be the CEO of the combined hospital system, once one is appointed.

For now, UB President John Simpson will serve as chairman of the new board.

"I think our challenge is to take a health care system that is in need of substantial repair and forge a new one," Simpson said. "This will be done in an environment that is frankly difficult."

The Berger Commission that recommended hospital closings and mergers in a report issued late last year warned either Buffalo General Hospital or E-C-M-C would be closed if the two healthcare institutions couldn't reach an agreement on their own.

Commissioner Daines called the creation of the board "a major milestone."

Daines has instructed the board to hold its first meeting no later than September 21st.

Kaleida Chairman Edward Walsh released a statement praising Commissioner Daines for his leadership. He pledged Kaleida's directors will work collaboratively with the new board to create a new healthcare entity.

ECMC CEO Michael Young says he is challenging the new board to put the interests of residents and patients first when doing its work.

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