Children's Hospital Begins Renovation Project

Buffalo, NY – A wall breaking ceremony Friday at Children's Hospital kicked off the long anticipated re-construction of the Emergency Room and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The multi-million dollar project will expand and modernize the facilities, adding a new waiting room, centralized nurses station, and four state-of-the-art trauma care units.

Dr. Kathleen Lillis, director of Emergency Medicine for Children's, says the decision to indefinitely postpone moving Children's hospital makes it easier to plan for future pediatric care - and to attract quality physicians.

"That was always lingering - wondering, well what's going to happen? And people are reluctant to relocate families to cities and hospitals where things are up in the air," Lillis said. "And now, while the decision hasn't been totally taken off the table, it's certainly been put back for quite awhile. And I think we can really move forward with what we need to here."

The $13 million renovation, eight years in the planning, will allow the hospital to treat more patients, as well as maintain its designation as the top regional perinatal center. U.S. Congressman Jack Quinn helped secure roughly $1.5 million in federal aid for the publicly and privately funded project. And Quinn says he's committed to keeping Children's Hospital in sound health.

"We have the very best you could ask for here at Children's Hospital. And the only way to keep the best doctors, the only way to get better doctors is to have a good facility. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure that out," Quinn said "But, I'm charged with trying to get the funds to do it. I think it's a great place. They do great things. Miracles happen on Bryant Street. And I want to help, from the federal government's point of view, participate in that - and we will."

With this project not scheduled for completion until spring 2003, hospital officials have already asked Quinn to begin securing funds for the next facilities update. Lillis says she's confident they will get the financial - and the community support needed - to eventually build a heli-pad for Children's Hospital.