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ECMC and Sheehan to Collaborate

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Medical Center and Sheehan Memorial Hospital have agreed to collaborate on substance abuse treatment. It is one step being taken locally to comply with the Berger Commission report.

The agreement announced Wednesday at Sheehan calls for ECMC to transfer ten detoxification beds to Sheehan. 12 beds will remain at ECMC for patients who require additional medical and surgical care.

The arrangement is a modification of the recommendation made last year as part of the Berger Commission report. It wanted ECMC to transfer all of its substance abuse beds to Sheehan. June Hoeflich is president and chief executive officer for Sheehan. She said they expect approval from the New York State Health Department.

Hospital officials said the agreement is an example of how collaborations can be reached quickly and amicably to improve health care delivery in the region.

ECMC and Kaeida failed to reach agreement, leading to the New York state Commissioner of Health appointing a combined board.

Michael Young is Chief Executive Officer for ECMC. Young said he is confident that the people seated on the new state appointed board are intelligent enough to get the job done. And he hopes that work will soon be done in public.

The new board met Wednesday for the third time behind closed doors since it was seated by the health commissioner. The commissioner was also in Buffalo Wednesday for a day-long hearing on health insurance coverage.

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