DeGraff Memorial Hospital dedicates a new $8 million emergency department Tuesday morning, 12 years after the Niagara County landmark was scheduled to close.
Ground was broken for the new ED at DeGraff's North Tonawanda location in October 2017. Now complete, the new 10,000-square-foot space will open to the public Nov. 15 and promises to "vastly improves the entire patient and family experience, both from a clinical and comfort standpoint."
The expansion includes 17 treatment bays, including a dedicated bariatric room, airborne isolation room, decontamination area suitable for infectious diseases and increased family space. It also features a new online check-in service "so patients with non-life-threatening conditions can wait the majority of the time in the comfort of their own homes, not the waiting room."
Last renovated in 1975, the space has now more than doubled in size and is estimated to serve more than 15,000 patients annually. DeGraff also downsized its surgical suite by 56 beds in order to focus on its ED expansion.
In 2006, the New York State Health Department recommended DeGraff close and be converted into a long-term care facility. However, the hospital's parent company, Kaleida Health, appealed the decision and has been keeping the Northtowns service provider operational.