A new “hospital of the future” is coming to Lockport solidifying the continuation of high quality healthcare services for the people of Eastern Niagara County.
Catholic Health President & CEO Mark A. Sullivan, announced today a management agreement between the health system and Eastern Niagara Hospital that will culminate in the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital centrally located in Lockport, preserving local healthcare for more than 80,000 residents in the surrounding community. Catholic Health will begin looking at several land options in Lockport and plans to begin construction in 2021 with an opening date in 2023.
“We are ensuring sustainable, accessible, high quality healthcare in Eastern Niagara County, while building a hospital of the future that will serve area residents for years to come,” Sullivan said. “We are grateful for the support and coordination from the New York State Department of Health throughout this process. This agreement is about neighbors taking care of neighbors, preserving healthcare jobs in the community, and supporting the dedicated staff who have provided high quality care under difficult circumstances. In honor of the legacy of healthcare in Eastern Niagara County and the work of everyone before us, the new hospital will be called Lockport Memorial.”
Eastern Niagara Hospital’s focus on quality, safety and patient satisfaction will continue, strengthened by the support of Catholic Health. Over the next two years, inpatient care, emergency services and diagnostic imaging will remain at Eastern Niagara’s East Avenue campus until the new hospital opens. The hospital’s Ambulatory Surgery Center, Imaging Services and Urgent Care Clinic at 5875 S. Transit Road will also continue to operate as Catholic Health looks to expand community-based care in Eastern Niagara County.
“Due to changing trends, Eastern Niagara Hospital is taking a proactive approach, working with Catholic Health to find a solution that best serves the Lockport community,” Sullivan continued. “Together, along with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, we are building a healthcare model that will strengthen services across the Niagara region. Through this partnership, Lockport residents will be able to receive needed care at Eastern Niagara Hospital, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, the Eastern Niagara Regional Surgery Center and a new multi-specialty practice, and ultimately at the new Lockport Memorial Hospital once it opens.”
Last November, Eastern Niagara Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Faced with ongoing losses, the hospital’s board made the unanimous decision to be proactive and approve the agreement with Catholic Health, assuring the future of healthcare in Eastern Niagara County. “This plan will require the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court.” said Eastern Niagara Hospital President Anne McCaffrey. “We will be working over the next several days to discuss the program in detail with the constituents in the bankruptcy process. We hope that once they are fully briefed, they will join us in asking Chief Bankruptcy Judge Bucki for approval of this plan.”
“This is a great day for the greater Lockport community,” McCaffrey said. “We are so pleased to join with Catholic Health – a partner that is innovative and visionary, fully committed to our community, and willing to make a significant investment in building a new hospital. It would have been easy for their leaders to consider the challenges facing Eastern Niagara Health and not get involved. But Catholic Health has stepped up in a monumental way with a major investment in health care not seen in the eastern portion of Niagara County in years.”
“We look forward to a close collaboration with the community physicians who have served Lockport well for decades and to working with Niagara County leaders to move this project forward,” Sullivan said. “Mount St. Mary’s Hospital will also play a critical role in this plan. As Niagara County’s only ‘A’ rated hospital for safety by the Leapfrog Group, a consumer rating agency, Mount St. Mary’s has extensive, high quality resources, including primary care doctors, specialists and surgeons, to serve the community. We are leveraging all of Catholic Health’s expertise and continuum of care, which has the highest quality and safety results in the region, to support the effort.”
“Catholic Health already has a significant presence in Niagara County with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and has invested more than $30 million in the region over the past five years,” said Robert M. Greene, chairman of the Catholic Health Board of Directors. “This new partnership with Eastern Niagara Hospital is building upon that commitment. The members of the Catholic Health board who reside in Niagara County were instrumental in discerning our approach and are very enthusiastic that a solution is in the works.”
“This new partnership is forward thinking. Catholic Health has taken the concept of a new emergency department and expanded it to an even higher level, exceeding our greatest expectations,” said Ann Briody Petock, chair of the Eastern Niagara Board of Directors. “To know that Catholic Health values the Niagara County community enough to invest the time, money and effort to build a new hospital is incredible. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our community and we could not be more grateful.”
In the coming months Catholic Health will continue to provide regular updates on construction of the new hospital.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Catholic Health partnering with Eastern Niagara Hospital?
With the acquisition of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in 2015, Catholic Health made a firm commitment to the residents of Niagara County to strengthen healthcare in their community. Now, Catholic Health is stepping in to preserve healthcare for the residents of Eastern Niagara County by working with Eastern Niagara Hospital (ENH) to create a new care model that will coordinate care across the region, resulting in less duplication of services, better quality and accessibility, and more efficient use of resources.
What prompted this partnership?
Today’s healthcare environment is very challenging for independent community hospitals. ENH has faced a challenging year with bankruptcy and COVID-19. Both have impacted its financial viability and made it impossible to invest in new technology and upgrade outdated facilities. Faced with ongoing losses, the hospital’s board made the unanimous decision to be proactive and approve the agreement with Catholic Health, assuring the future of healthcare in Eastern Niagara County for generations to come.
What will this new partnership mean for the residents of Eastern Niagara County?
There is no longer uncertainty and questions about the future of healthcare services in Eastern Niagara County. This is the best long-term solution for ENH patients and the community at large. Area residents will still be able to receive the majority of their healthcare close to home. Community-based care will also be expanded through Catholic Health’s extensive physician network, giving Lockport residents increased access to physician specialists, as well as primary care and women’s services providers.
Where will the new hospital be located?
The new hospital will be centrally located in Lockport, preserving local healthcare for more than 80,000 residents in the surrounding community. Catholic Health will begin looking at several land options in Lockport with plans to begin construction in 2021.
What services will be available at the new hospital?
The new hospital will offer a complement of emergency, medical inpatient, outpatient and diagnostic services.
What is the name of the new hospital?
While the new hospital will serve patients well beyond Lockport, Catholic Health is honoring the tremendous legacy of Lockport Memorial, and those who cared for the community for more than a century, by naming it Lockport Memorial.
When will the new hospital open?
The new hospital will open in the next 2-3 years.
What will happen to Eastern Niagara Hospital after the new hospital opens?
The future of the Eastern Niagara Hospital campus will be determined through the bankruptcy process.
Why not just update the old hospital?
The ENH building is over-sized and inefficient for the volume of patients it serves and the way healthcare is delivered today. The community requires a smaller, better equipped, state-of-the-art facility designed to meet the current healthcare needs of individuals and families in the City and Town of Lockport and beyond.
What will happen to the Ambulatory Surgery and Urgent Care Center on Transit Road?
The facility on Transit Road will continue to provide high quality outpatient surgery, imaging services and urgent care to the Lockport community during the construction of the new facility. With the growth of outpatient surgery, which makes up 75% of ENH’s surgical business, we expect to expand this center to provide more members of the community with convenient access to outpatient surgical care, as well as expand primary and specialty physician services at that location.
What role with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital play?
Mount St. Mary’s will play a vital role supporting the healthcare needs of Eastern Niagara County residents who want to continue to receive high quality care in Niagara County. As the county’s only “A” Safety Grade Hospital named by the Leapfrog Group, an independent healthcare rating agency, Mount St. Mary’s, along with Catholic Health’s entire continuum of care, which has the highest quality and safety in WNY, will be available to meet the specialty care needs of patients across the county, providing a seamless transition of care.
What does this mean for employees at Eastern Niagara Hospital?
The majority of Eastern Niagara Hospital’s 450 employees will remain employed at the hospital and the Ambulatory Care Center/Lockport Imaging Center on South Transit Road while the new hospital is built. Catholic Health will begin exploring employment opportunities that may be available at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and throughout Catholic Health for any ENH employees affected by these changes, working closely with their union representatives, where applicable.
How will the new hospital be financed?
Catholic Health will be seeking public and private funding in addition to making its own significant investment in this project. Costs and financing are currently under development.
How will this partnership work?
Catholic Health’s innovative approach is a two-year, twofold management agreement to maintain healthcare services during the transition and build a sustainable care model bolstered by its high quality continuum of care and advanced technology. Catholic Health has already invested tens of millions of dollars at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital to support the delivery of high quality care throughout the Niagara region. Catholic Health will work closely with ENH’s leadership team, medical staff, and union partners to develop its transition plans. More specific details will emerge over the coming months, and we will share them as they become available.
What will happen between now and when the new hospital opens?
Catholic Health will provide management oversight and execute a transition plan that will ensure safe, high quality, patient-centered emergency and inpatient services are maintained on the East Avenue campus while the new hospital is built. Inpatient Chemical Dependency beds at both ENH and MSM will be managed by Catholic Health. Anne E. McCaffrey, Eastern Niagara Hospital president and CEO, will continue to lead the organization through this new chapter.
Why is this good for the residents of Lockport?
By transitioning care from ENH to a new hospital in the Town of Lockport, we are not only keeping care local, we are providing the community with a modern, first class facility, equipped with the latest technology, to meet their medical and emergency care needs as comfortably and conveniently as possible. Residents across Niagara County will also have fast, direct access to the most complex specialty services, including comprehensive heart, stroke and vascular care, through Catholic Health’s regional network.
About Catholic Health
From delivering thousands of babies each year to offering the area’s widest network of comprehensive cardiac, stroke, and orthopedic services; to providing a broad range of services for aging seniors, Catholic Health cares for hundreds of thousands of Western New Yorkers at dozens of locations throughout Erie and Niagara counties. The quality leader in the region, its healthcare network includes Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital and its St. Joseph Campus; along with a complete continuum of Home & Community Based Care services, including skilled nursing and subacute rehab facilities, home care agencies, and diagnostic and treatment centers.
About Eastern Niagara Hospital
Eastern Niagara Hospital (ENH) was established in 2009, as a result of the merger of Lockport Memorial Hospital (EST. 1908) and Inter-Community Memorial Hospital (EST. 1958). In an effort to meet the challenges and changing health care needs of the eastern portion of Niagara County, the Hospital has evolved over the past decades. Today, ENH maintains an emergency department, acute care, cardiac services, a full array of diagnostic services and an inpatient chemical dependency treatment unit at its main campus in the City of Lockport. ENH also operates a modern outpatient facility in the Town of Lockport, with urgent care, occupational medicine, numerous diagnostic services, as well as an ambulatory surgery center – Niagara Regional Surgery Center. As the Hospital’s history demonstrates growth, development and transformation, ENH’s enduring commitment remains steadfast in serving the community. Partnerships and joint collaborations on services are ongoing and developing to strengthen services and enhance the quality of care across the region.