BUFFALO, NY – Feb. 8, 2013 – Erie County Medical Center Corp. today dedicated its new $103 million, 390-bed nursing home on the ECMC Health Campus on Grider Street, which will begin receiving patients Saturday.
Terrace View Long-Term Care Facility, named for the design feature of multiple terraces providing outside areas for residents, replaces the 87-year-old Erie County nursing home in Alden. Terrace View also combines in one location existing long-term care beds from ECMC. Design and work on the building came mostly from local sources, including Cannon Design of Grand Island. LPCiminelli, the region’s largest construction firm, served as Construction Manager for the project.
Patients will be transferred from Alden into the new facility on Saturday and from the Skilled Nursing Facility at ECMC on Sunday.
The move from Alden to ECMC’s Health Campus focuses on providing higher quality, state-of-the-art care for residents. It also moves residents closer to family, increases access to employment for Buffalo and suburban residents and reduces operating costs for ECMC Corp. Terrace View will save almost $1 million annually simply by eliminating resident transportation costs between Alden and Buffalo.
Terrace View will also bring approximately 400 jobs back to the City of Buffalo. In the past, the Erie County Home was challenged to provide employment opportunities for city residents who had limited transportation to Alden.
In line with New York State Department of Health recommendations, there will be a 332-bed reduction to the new facility from the current available total of 722 beds. Most Alden employees who wanted to transfer to the new location, or to other ECMC operations, did so; some unfilled positions were not filled or were consolidated to increase operational efficiencies, but job levels are similar before and after the move. All residents not transferring to the new facility were moved to other facilities or home.
“This move to ECMC’s Grider Campus took vision from our board of directors and collaboration with our community. Most importantly, this improves the lives of our residents and employees and saves ECMC Corp., Erie County and New York State taxpayers a great deal of money,” said ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo. “We’re especially pleased that residents will move to a fresh, state-of-the-art facility that incorporates the very latest in resident-centered thinking.”
Medicaid is expected to reimburse portions of the construction and the operating costs based on the number of residents who receive Medicaid. The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority financed the project through its bonding authority.
From the state’s point of view, the Terrace View is an innovative symbol of a new direction.
“Gov. Cuomo has reformed the state’s Medicaid system to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes, and this new, highly efficient facility will save taxpayer dollars while providing improved services,” said Lt. Governor Robert J. Duffy. “This facility will be a great addition to Western New York, and I commend and thank everyone for the hard work it took to make this happen.”
The project came together rapidly after a July 2011 ground breaking.
“We’re extremely proud of the innovative work happening at ECMC,” said Kevin Hogan, Chair of the ECMC Corp. board. “Having the support of our partners, New York State, Erie County, makes it all possible. And what’s best is that our patients and employees benefit most.”
The new home is organized into small-scale, 12-bed households, each with a living room and fireplace, kitchen and dining rooms. Each floor features a generous outdoor terrace and an indoor terrace lounge with a view to the terrace.
“The new facility at ECMC is a clear step forward in design for a livable senior care community,” said Richard Cleland, ECMC’s chief operating officer.
“What’s innovative is the personal space of each room, with a bay window, the small-scale households, the cascading terraces, the array of destinations. Shared communal spaces on the first floor, with adjacent gardens and courtyards, deliver the texture and diversity for a stimulating community for residents, families and staff,” Cleland said.
Bonds for the project sold through the Fiscal Stability Authority created a borrowing structure that saved ECMC Corp. $118 million in interest expense by reducing the interest rate and the repayment period to 15 years from 30.
Erie County paid $11.5 million of the construction costs through an agreement reached with ECMC Corp. in 2009. ECMC officials estimate the new facility will reduce current operating losses by 60 percent.
Further, according to recent resident and employee censuses, residents’ families and nursing home workers will find the new home much more convenient. Eighty percent of the residents are from Buffalo or the first-ring suburbs. Terrace View will allow residents to be closer to family and loved ones who can participate in their care and well-being.
The new home stands beside the new $27 million Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care which opened a year ago. The hospital also recently announced a $35 million Regional Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, a consolidation of Kaleida 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. It provides good-paying jobs and health-focused economic development centered in a section of Buffalo that has seen too little of both.
The existing facility at ECMC contains 126 skilled nursing beds and 10 ventilator beds. The nursing units in that 40-year-old facility mimic the acute care nursing units above and below and provide an institutional environment for residents. The current facility in Alden holds 586 beds on three floors.
The new facility, for which current residents had design input, is 275,500 square feet on five levels. It contains three floors of 96 skilled nursing beds each; one floor containing 66 sub-acute rehab beds; a 20-bed ventilator unit and 16-bed behavioral intervention unit on the ground floor, for a total of 390 beds.
The building is connected to the existing hospital and to other facilities on campus via a public corridor that will be used to transport patients and residents in need of varying degrees of medical care.
Transformation of ECMC’s Health Campus, which now has 550 beds and had 63,500 ER visits in 2012, began in June 2010. ECMC spent $2.9 million to expand its Emergency Department, with eight new trauma exam rooms and two new trauma surgical suites. ECMC is already home to the state’s top-rated Adult Regional Trauma Unit.
With surgeries up 10 percent over the last two years, and recruitment of 15 new doctors, ECMC also recently gained state approval to open two new operating suites, prepare two additional “shelled” operating rooms for future expansion, and add related recovery and surgical services space.
With an estimated overall economic impact on the region of $750 million, ECMC had total revenues in 2009 of $440 million and does not receive a subsidy from Erie County.