Published June 11, 2012
The effort to transform Buffalo into a world-class health care destination and expand UB’s downtown campus took a major step forward May 24, when Kaleida Health and UB opened a new 10-story vascular institute and research building.
The $291 million combined facility includes Kaleida’s Gates Vascular Institute (GVI) and UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Located next to Buffalo General Medical Center, the facility brings together Kaleida Health physicians and UB researchers to deliver state-of-the-art clinical care, discover breakthroughs and spin off new biotechnology businesses and jobs.
The unique partnership between a public university and a private health care provider saved taxpayers $21 million through reduced construction costs and operational efficiencies.
UB researchers will move into the CTRC this summer, with a grand opening scheduled for Sept. 20.
The 170,000-square-foot CTRC is located on the top four floors of the joint UB-Kaleida Health building. It will expand UB’s focus on translating basic medical research into new treatments and technologies.
The UB Biosciences Incubator will provide laboratories and office space and start-up services to companies spun off from medical discoveries made by university faculty.
The Jacobs Neurological Institute—home to UB’s Department of Neurology—is located on the fifth floor.
The Gates Vascular Institute features four floors dedicated to the surgical and interventional management of cardiac, vascular and neurological conditions, as well as a 16-bed highly specialized intensive care unit, and a 62-bed short-stay suite.
The combined buildings of the Gates Vascular Institute and Buffalo General Medical Center (BGMC) house a brand new emergency department, a new helipad, 610 beds, 28 operating rooms, 17 interventional labs, four CT scanners and four MRIs.
“Quite simply we are delivering the health care of the future at the new Gates Vascular Institute,” said L. Nelson Hopkins III, MD, professor and chair of neurosurgery at UB, chief of service for neurosurgery at Kaleida Health, and chair of the GVI Physician Board.
“There’s no place else that can match this anywhere. We have the only center in Western New York that is completely comprehensive, has all of the latest technology, and the largest and best team of people.”
The co-location of Kaleida Health physicians and UB researchers and faculty in the facility is expected to bring about advancements in care and treatment—and development of new medical technologies—that would not happen in isolation.
Construction of the building also helps advance the UB 2020 strategic plan. In part, this is focused on constructing a new home for the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in downtown Buffalo, advancing UB’s strength in the biomedical sciences and other research fields and increasing the university’s economic impact in Buffalo.
Moving the UB medical school to downtown Buffalo would improve medical education for students and bring an estimated 1,200 UB faculty, staff and students downtown every day.
In 2007, the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21 Century, also known as the Berger Commission, ordered the closure of Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital.
In response, Kaleida Health decided to shift the hospital’s cardiovascular and stroke-related services to a new facility on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The new building advances the goals of the Berger Commission, which mandated Western New York organizations to significantly improve the quality and availability of health care.
It stipulated that this be accomplished by ending expensive duplication of services, filling gaps in the region’s health care system, recruiting top-level researchers and physicians and providing state-of-the-art training to UB medical students.
Kaleida Health and UB officials say the new building will help transform Buffalo into a regional destination for excellence in health care, on par with medical research centers available in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Moreover, the collaborative work being done in the building will play a major role in the continued growth of a life-sciences industry in Buffalo and the creation of a knowledge-based economy leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the region.
UB President Satish K. Tripathi said the opening of the GVI/CTRC marks “the beginning of a very exciting new chapter for UB, Kaleida and our partners on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“More than that, it’s the start of a new era for our Western New York community. Over the years, we’ve been working together to transform Buffalo into a major destination for world-class health care delivery and research. This is no longer just a vision of the far-off future—that vision is steadily becoming a reality, and this state-of-the-art joint facility is a vital element in this success.”
“This physician-led plan is revolutionizing health care in our community,” said James R. Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “This is a historic achievement for our organization, for UB and, most importantly, for all of Western New York.
“We have taken what we have, which is very good, and we are making it better for those we serve. In essence, we’re building a healthier future through a collision of talent and knowledge, bringing the brightest medical minds together on behalf of the patients of Western New York.”