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By Joseph A. Ruffolo

In a year that brought change and confusion to the health care arena, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center continued to grow and change to meet today’s challenges.

In 2013, Memorial successfully implemented several strategic initiatives that continue our transformation from a traditional community hospital to the new Memorial – a center for health and wellness for the community and the region. We invested more than $8 million in facilities and technology in 2013 alone, with $62 million invested in the past decade.

A new medical-surgical floor with all private rooms, a family resource room and a media learning center provide the patient with comfort, privacy and care of the highest quality, reducing stress and promoting healing.

Memorial continues to lead in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, bringing the latest techniques and technology to the region. Memorial is increasingly the first choice of surgeons and patients for bariatric surgery, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, gynecological surgery, general surgery and orthopedic surgery.

Memorial’s expanded comprehensive joint replacement program in partnership with Excelsior Orthopaedics offers Niagara’s only anterior hip replacement – a surgical technique that can result in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.

The Wound Center of Niagara, developed in conjunction with RestorixHealth, one of the nation’s leaders in comprehensive wound care and wound management programs, specializes in treating chronic or problem wounds often associated with medical conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation and certain types of infection.

A half-million-dollar upgrade of the Mary C. Dyster Women’s Pavilion offers all private, homelike accommodations. And we continue to be women’s first choice for delivering babies with the most births in Niagara County and the county’s only neonatal trained anesthesiologists.

Memorial’s ER1 continues to be Niagara County’s only emergency department with all physicians board-certified in emergency medicine.

In 2013, Memorial also:

• Partnered with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to open UB OrthoCare at the Summit Healthplex, giving area residents better access to emergency care for orthopedic and sports injuries.

• Announced a new partnership between Niagara Hospice and Schoellkopf Health Center that will lead to the opening of a dedicated hospice unit on the Memorial Medical Center campus.

There was more, but as you can see, we are the new Memorial – and there’s more to come.

Joseph A. Ruffolo is the president and CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.