Focus on quality of care rather than new buildings

The media are full of excited and positive accounts of the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. This effort has emphasized the construction of big new buildings: the new Medical School, the Gates Vascular Institute, the new Children’s Hospital and other new buildings. If the goals of a true integrated academic health care center are to be achieved, we will need more than expensive buildings. Just moving separate corporations, like Kaleida Health and the University at Buffalo Medical School, next to each other will not automatically produce a common vision or agreement on achievable goals.

To have a true academic health care center, there needs to be structural change. Perhaps the recent resignation of the CEO of Kaleida Health will give the community an opportunity to demand that restructuring. The emphasis needs to be not on new buildings, but the quality of the health care that is delivered. There needs to be a real commitment to quality care, not mere lip service and the same old concentration of the financial bottom line.

It is now time for the UB Medical School to step up and demonstrate leadership to help shape the quality of health care for our community.

Linda Scharf, R.N.