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Some dramatic changes are occurring in the region's medical arena. Some developments are being driven by the area's largest health care provider.
James R. Kaskie, president and chief executive officer of Kaleida Health, talked with The Buffalo News' Brian Meyer about numerous issues during an interview on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The topics included a reuse plan for the now-shuttered Millard Fillmore Hospital and plans to move Women & Children's Hospital to the Medical Campus. Here is a summary of some of the points made in an interview that is part of the weekly "In Focus" series.
Watch the full five-minute interview at BuffaloNews.com/video.
Meyer: We're hearing about a veterinary [teaching] hospital at [Millard Fillmore]. Do you think that will come to be?
Kaskie: We're certainly working hard with the [Chason Affinity development group] to make that happen. The community needs to come together to really support this strategy. I think when you think about how creative it is - how ... this adds another health science school to our education and knowledge economy, it brings jobs and opportunity - we're very excited that this could really become a reality.
Meyer: There have been some folks pointing out that this is anything but a done deal, correct? There are a lot of things that have to happen before we see that cavernous complex become a vet hospital.
Kaskie: That's absolutely correct. But if we don't all line [up] and work together, then nothing is going to happen. So the steps that we're very confident are going to be checked off include not only the landing of the tenant, which we're working on with the Chason group, the certification through the New York State educational systems, putting all the business issues together. And that's why when we announced this, we said there's probably a three- to six-month window of steps. But we're very bullish on the Chason group being able to deliver on this. I'm very hopeful it's a reality for Western New York.
Meyer: Another major change. Women & Children's Hospital is going to be leaving the Bryant Street facility and coming [to the Medical Campus]. Give us a timeline.
Kaskie: On Dec. 15, 2015, it will come over as John R. Oishei Children's Hospital.
Meyer: Is this just a shuffling of our medical community, or is there some real opportunity for growth?
Kaskie: There's multiple components [to] this kind of a strategy. One is to right-size yourself to the market. ... Yeah, we're shuffling, but what we're doing is we're integrating, we're creating economies, we're improving the services and the technology so that we have a better platform to deliver complex services.