Kaleida keeping its hospitals operating in massive storm

Jan 30, 2019

Kaleida hospitals are working to serve patients in the midst of now what is a blizzard. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke a Kaleida Health official about managing in the snow storm.

Oishei Children's Hospital, one of Kaleida's hospitals.
Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News

“Our emergency preparedness team begins planning a day or two in advance when they see storms coming,” stated Mike Hughes, senior vice president/chief of staff, Kaleida.

Kaleida Health's Mike Hughes tells WBFO News an emergency preparedness team worked on an emergency plan ahead of this winter storm.

“In making sure that one, we have adequate staffing as the storm comes through, two, do we have the correct supplies – do we need to order additional supplies and that ranges everything from food to medical supplies and then three, what type of contingency plans do we need to put into place should we have any type of specific needs that come up,” Hughes explained. 

Hughes says fortunately staffing levels were good Wednesday, with some employees staying for extra shifts. Kaleida Hospitals include Buffalo General, Gates Vascular and Oishei Children's in downtown Buffalo and Millard Fillmore Suburban in Amherst, DeGraff in North Tonawanda and Olean General in Olean.

Hughes said there has been a steady flow in their emergency rooms.  

Mike Hughes, senior vice president/chief of staff, Kaleida.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

“There’s a lot respiratory illness and flu-like symptoms going around – there has not been a ton of frost-bite issues per se, but still emergency rooms across our systems remain relatively busy,” Hughes noted.

Kaleida snow plow contractors continue to clearing property, but Hughes noted the city and municipalities’ snow plow crews are also working to keep the streets around hospitals clear for emergencies.

“The city of Buffalo or the town of Amherst or the county or state – any of the facilities that we have – they do a very good job of making sure that we’re taken as priority, in terms of the plowing – whether it is the route in and around Buffalo General or Children’s or the route in and around Millard Suburban Hospital – they municipalities’ have done a great job over the past couple of years, including this current storm of keeping those areas clear and should the snow pile up or we have issues with drifting or if it hasn’t been hit – with a quick call – they are here and taking care of it for us – so we are thankful for that,” Hughes remarked.