The location of the Erie County Home in Alden, so far away from the families of its residents, always made it a problem for those wishing to visit loved ones. The move away from an outdated building in a rather remote location to a new facility on the Erie County Medical Center campus is welcome, and long overdue.
Several hundred nursing home residents have made the move from Alden into the $103 million Terrace View Long-Term Care Facility on Grider Street along the Kensington Expressway. The new nursing home not only reflects a sound business decision under the leadership of CEO Jody L. Lomeo, it also is in keeping with today’s efforts to better reflect the needs of the home’s residents.
As reported in The News, the new nursing home is organized into small-scale, 12-bed households, each with a living room and fireplace, kitchen and dining room. It also includes a 60-bed short-term rehabilitation area, a 20-bed ventilation unit and beds dedicated to residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and traumatic brain injury.
Terrace View is named for the design feature of multiple terraces providing outside areas for residents. It is a patient-centered approach that was woefully missing with the old facility in a decrepit, 87-year-old institution across from the county jail.
The fact that the attractive, state-of-the-art 275,000-square-foot building is connected to the hospital and two other facilities on the ECMC campus via public corridor is a huge benefit to the residents.
This move not only serves residents and their families who live in the Buffalo area, it benefits the majority of the 400 employees who also live in the city. The idea of a difficult, 16-mile bus commute for workers, as Lomeo pointed out, is not just a minor inconvenience. Getting and retaining good workers to care for the residents, many of whom are on Medicaid, can be a challenge. Making it easier to get to work helps.
Also saved is the estimated $900,000-a-year cost to ECMC to transport residents back and forth between the hospital and the home. Lomeo told The News that the old home lost from $4 million to $12 million a year. The new nursing home is expected to reduce current operating losses by 60 percent.
The new home is one of many changes as ECMC continues to transform itself from a county agency dependent on a county subsidy to a public benefit corporation that can act independently. The new $27 million Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care opened on the campus a year ago. The hospital announced a $35 million Regional Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, a consolidation of Kaleida’s and ECMC’s behavioral health and substance treatment facilities, into one expanded area of ECMC.
Terrace View and the centers of excellence are part of a five-year, $200 million expansion on ECMC’s health campus that is 80 percent complete.
The patient-centered Terrace View is a remarkable achievement for ECMC. The facility will improve care for its hundreds of residents while being more efficient.