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The Golisano Center for Community Health connects back to the adjacent emergency department lobby.

Photo credit: KC Kratt

In an effort to improve community health, Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Memorial Medical Center (NFMMC) wanted to build a facility that addressed the social determinants of health, while improving access to care. 

The new Golisano Center for Community Health fulfills that mission by offering integrated care to adults and children, including developmentally and intellectually disabled and other at-risk individuals. The goal is to prevent the local population from “slipping through the cracks” of the health care system.

Envisioned as a center that houses community programs in addition to medical services, the facility was “established to provide patients with care at the right place, at the right time, with the right resources,” according to Elisabeth Perreault, CannonDesign’s Western New York health market leader.

The $7 million, 26,000-square-foot facility incorporates universal design principles that result in an environment that is accessed and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability.

The facility includes 7-foot corridors, seamless flooring transitions, and nonglare surfaces and lighting to provide a barrier-free environment.

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The Golisano Center’s primary care clinic operates extended evening hours to improve access to care. The lobby includes a café and computer workstations, in addition to a variety of seating options and activities.

Photo credit: KC Kratt

The main lobby provides both lounge and café seating in an open concept, which is warm and inviting to the community.

The only outpatient center of its kind in Western New York and one of the few in the U.S., the center is located adjacent to NFMMC and linked to its emergency department (ED) so hospital staff can refer patients as needed.

The center’s primary care clinic operates extended evening hours to improve access to care. An information desk is strategically positioned within the ED lobby to help patients determine the best treatment option. In many cases, patients are choosing to visit the Golisano Center instead of the ED.

“This is an excellent option for people who need care for non-life-threatening situations that don’t require emergency room treatment,” says Sheila Kee, chief operating officer, NFMMC. “We are proud to be the first to bring this concept to Niagara Falls.”

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services implores, “efforts to reduce ED use should focus not on merely reducing the number of ED visits, but also on promoting continuous coverage for eligible individuals and improving access to appropriate care settings to better address the health needs of the population.”

In addition to integrated primary and behavioral care, the center offers a wide range of health, social and educational services that, taken together, promote holistic health and inclusion, including home care management and care coordination services. 

The center serves as headquarters for Rivershore Inc.'s Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, the local social services agency for persons living with disabilities and provides space for multiple community agencies to work together.

The center houses a community services suite that provides collaborative workspace for various local programs and services, including community outreach, housing assistance and social service supports, and cancer care navigation.

It also is the site of the Learning Hub, which offers multipurpose classroom and workstations for educational programs and on-site training for future care providers. 

In other health care facility news:

  • The University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center in Charlottesville, is in the midst of a major expansion and renovation that will provide additional capacity to its emergency department (ED).

    Skanska USA is building a 444,000-square-foot, 15-story expansion to the facility’s ED and also working on 90,000 square feet of renovation. The tower portion of this project will increase the number of bays in the ED from 43 to 80 and help to accommodate the more than 60,000 annual ED visits.

    The project is slated for completion in December 2020 after starting in June 2015. 

  • Groundbreaking was held on a new 39,000-square-foot sterile processing center near the Nebraska Medicine-Nebraska Medical Center campus in Omaha.

    This new facility will allow the medical center to consolidate five smaller processing locations into a single center that will serve all of Nebraska Medicine’s surgical areas, according to project developer Lendlease.

Want to see your new health care construction project featured on HFM DailyEmail project information and photos to Senior Editor Jeff Ferenc or tweet to him @JeffFerenc.