In just over three weeks, the new Oishei Children’s Hospital at the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus will open to the public. From the moment patients and staff walk in, it’s going to be evident that the new state-of-the-art hospital was designed with families in mind.
Warm colors, bright light, and a friendly touch adorn the walls of the new Oishei Children’s Hospital. Every one of its twelve stories has a specially chosen theme, from the first floor’s ‘Spirit of Buffalo’ to ‘Discovery’ on the 12th floor. Every element in the design – like its indoor gardens, resource center, and meditation room – was chosen with families in mind.
“It’s going to bring a brand new healing environment that’s going to allow our families, our children, our moms to really heal and be able to grow and thrive in ways that they weren’t being able to on the [Women and Children’s] Bryant Street campus,” said Dr. Stephen Turkovich, the hospital’s chief medical officer.
Oishei will replace Women and Children’s Hospital on November 10, when all of its patients, staff and equipment begin the 1.2 mile journey to 818 Ellicott Street.
Turkovich calls the new hospital “a dream come true” for the community, and he is particularly excited about what Oishei’s larger layout will offer its patients – from space for more advanced technology, to rooms large enough to offer key amenities to families.
For parents like Jody Kotowski, whose daughter Francesca has been a patient at Women and Children’s for all 18 years of her life, it’s the simple touches like pull-out couches and showers that make all the difference.
“I know when [Francesca] was in the NICU, I had to wash my hair in the sink in the public bathroom because there was no shower,” said Kotowski. “So to know that the moms are going to have that, it’s a relief. It’s something that you don’t have to worry about.”
During a Tuesday morning dedication ceremony for the new hospital, Kotowski and her daughter deposited a Sweet Home High School bracelet in the time capsule that will be embedded in the cornerstone of Oishei. Kotowski explained they chose the bracelet as a memento of Women and Children’s because without the dedication and compassion of its staff, Francesca wouldn’t have made it to her senior year.
As the days draw closer to the public opening of the hospital, 2,400 of those staff members, including 350 physicians and 400 volunteers, are going through extensive training on the protocol and operations that will go into effect at Oishei. In addition to what’s inside the hospital, they’ll have the added benefit of what’s outside on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“Being next to the Buffalo General Medical Center and access to all those adult sub-specialists, the Gates Vascular Institute and one of the top stroke centers in the nation. Being next to the Jacobs School of Medicine, the new UB School of Medicine and all the talent that they’re recruiting that’s going to be able to bring some great nationally renowned physicians and leaders to our hospital and to the campus,” said Turkovich.