Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 27, 2013

New life for old hospital floor at Memorial

Niagara Gazette — The second floor at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has a chance to shine once again.

The floor has been repurposed to serve as the hospital's medical-surgical unit, with a focus on putting patient needs ahead of everything else, something which may seem like a given but sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of major medical institutions.

"This unit was designed with patient and family centered care as the overriding concept," NFMMC President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Ruffolo said. "This is a care model that requires healthcare professionals share complete information with patients and families. In turn, it builds on the strength of patients and families to enhance independence and facilitate patient healing."

Located on the hospital's S-2 wing of its Schoellkopf Building, 621 10th St., the new wing, which cost $1.5 million, offers 24 private rooms for patients and a computerized family room –  a feature lauded by many of the hospital's leadership – to give support and knowledge to family members and patients alike.

The idea, according to the hospital's Chief Operating Officer Sheila Kee, is to follow through on the core mission of patient-centered care. The hospital must allow the patients and the families to know exactly what's happening, she said.

"In patient-centered care, the family members need to know what the disease or diagnosis is," she said. "So we wanted to give them a place to learn about what is happening around them. The computers are hooked up to the Internet for them to research and we have an extensive library for them."

These rooms replace the hospital's 30-year-old facility on the third floor.

Renovating the wing which used to house a child psychiatry ward also included some major improvements to how patients will experience the hospital. Construction used sound absorbent materials to help keep noise to as low as possible, while the floor also features soft lighting, designed to provide a more relaxed environment.

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