A new era in health care begins Tuesday, with the opening of the Oishei Children's Outpatient Center at Main and High Streets on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The entire moving process - the long-anticipated transfer of Women & Children's Hospital from its longtime location on Bryant Street to the BNMC - should be completed by the end of 2017.
Located inside the Coventus Building at Main and High streets, the Outpatient Center features seven clinics, including Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Neurology, EEG and a blood draw lab. The previous facilities were scattered about the massive Bryant Street physical plant.
Jessica Mabie, Kaleida Health's Director of Strategic Planning and Implementation, says the new Outpatient Center is better for parents and their kids.
"We were in a building - and buildings - that were all adjacent and connected to one another over a 125-year time frame, so really the ability to co-locate everybody centrally [with] shared waiting spaces, staff and reception areas, it's much more efficient use of space," she says.
Mabie also pointed out that the new facility's bright and cheerful atmosphere is accompanied by new technology and other benefits to make getting around easier.
"So electronic signage, as well as static signage that coordinates with symbols of animals to help people find their way," she says. "Computers on wall-arms in each of the rooms but, obviously, the space is much, much improved from where we were currently at. Underground parking is a big thing for our patients and families, as well. Just better access for everybody."
Some young patients and their parents took advantage of a sneak peak last Friday. Kerri Lucas believes the new clinic will benefit all kids, including her nine-year-old son Will.
"I'm excited because I have a very high-energy boy here and sometimes when you go into different doctors' offices, it's very stale and very quiet and we feel out of place," she says. "So this is very energetic and exciting, which we need to be in that kind of mind frame and that kind of spirit with the lot of clinics that we have to visit."
Will Lucas summed it up this way: "Amazing. Awesome. Fantastic."
Another frequent patient, 16-year-old Carson Dayka of Hamburg, said the new clinics feel very welcoming.
"I'm so excited. It looks beautiful. And so nice and clean," she said.
More outpatient clinics will make the move to the Conventus Building over the next several months. The ribbon cutting for the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital is on track for November.