Erie County Medical Center held a symbolic topping-off ceremony for its new $58 million trauma and emergency room on Tuesday.
The giant steel beam was hoisted into place high above a rear parking lot. The beam carried signatures of many of the emergency room and hospital staffers as they prepare to move in May into the new facility.
"The support from the community has been great. We raised about $14.2 million on our goal of $15 million. We're actually considering raising our goal because our community support has been so great," said CEO Tom Quatroche.
Quatroche says the design of the new emergency room reflects the earlier design of the ER complex at Buffalo General, with large pods to care for patients and enough rooms that serious cases can receive immediate care.
Four trauma rooms, Quatroche says, are "going to have CT scanners right next to them. So, that cutdown in time to image a trauma patient will obviously save lives."
"This is literally going to be the most state-of-the-art emergency department in the United States," proclaimed associate medical director Dr. Sam Cloud.
Arrivals should also be faster. A bridge from a new helicopter pad on the roof will run to a new elevator column down to the emergency room.