A first-of-its-kind Health Mall has opened in Buffalo Friday. Local officials were joined by community leaders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility located at 1500 Broadway.
The Erie County Health Mall will be a one stop shop for primary care, OB-GYN, mental health and dental care. The new tenants leasing the space from Erie County include Catholic Health, the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine, Lake Shore Behavioral Health and Mid-Erie Counseling and Treatment Services.
The building used to be home to the Dr. Matt Gajewski Health Services Center, which closed in 2009.
Erie County invested $3 million to renovate the facility. County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the state-of-the-art clinic was created to provide access to quality healthcare in the community.
“There was very little primary care after the healthcare clinic closed in 2009. There was no dental care until today. There was very little mental health assistance. This is open to all not just to people in this community. We know that this is one of the most necessary areas for prenatal care. There was no prenatal care in this community and there will be now prenatal care," said Poloncarz.
"I can’t be prouder of this day. This is one of the major accomplishments of my administration.”
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says the county couldn’t provide all of the services without the partnerships with the healthcare organizations.
“We were able to bring in experts from the community that are dedicated to provide these type of services. People from all over Erie County can come and receive all of the essential healthcare services under one roof,” said Burstein.
The Health Mall is expected to reduce the number of costly emergency room visits in Erie County by roughly 3,000 in its first year. It is also in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.