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New Ambulatory Care Center on Hodge Avenue

Buffalo’s snowy Valentine’s Day marked the third meeting where Women and Children’s Hospital discussed plans with surrounding residents to rebuild an Ambulatory Care Center on Hodge Avenue. The first general meeting was held in July and the second in December. About 30 people from neighborhoods surrounding the hospital attended the meeting, including members of the Hodge Block Club, the Bryant, Oakland, Summer Block Club and the West Utica, Atlantic Block Club.
Resident concerns: Block club members showed concern about the three residential houses (hospital owned) that would be demolished if the center were to be built. A fairly new, less than 15-years-old pediatric center would be demolished as well. Bob Pederson, a member of the West Utica and Atlantic Block Club, has a number of concerns on the issue. Pederson notes that at every meeting the proposed structure has more floors added on to it. This is a concern to neighborhood residents who want to keep the ‘residential’ quality in the area. “It’s kind of ambiguous, the building is getting taller and taller,” Pederson said during a recent interview.
Is the proposed location, next to a city-owned parking garage, the best spot for the center? Hospital patients and staff members mainly use the garage, so if the Ambulatory Care Center were built, an enclosed pathway running from the garage directly to the care center/hospital would be added. That way sick patients wouldn’t be exposed to unpleasant weather. Pederson has a problem with the plan; he feels that the five-story parking garage at times doesn’t provide enough room for existing parking, and shouldn’t play such a big role in where the Ambulatory Care Center is built. “At least six times this month I’ve seen ‘Parking Ramp Full’ signs at the West Utica entrance,” Pederson said.
A call for change: According to Kaleida’s and Children’s spokesman Mike Hughes, the layout for the Ambulatory Care Center isn’t finalized and won’t be until they know exactly how much space is needed. Hughes has worked for the hospital for three years. He feels Children’s is listening to the concerns of the community. “We are trying to be as open and transparent as possible,” Hughes said. About five years ago Woman’s and Children’s Hospital had plans to relocate, though residents and businesses in the area signed petitions wanting the hospital to stay. “In the late 90s and 2000, the neighborhood spoke loud and clear – they didn’t want the hospital to leave,” Hughes said. Hughes said that Children’s is still here and currently has great business – better than in the past 20 years. “New space and new technology is needed to add care of our patients,” Hughes said.

Written by George Johnson

George Johnson

Buffalo Rising Co-Founder. Designer (Product, Graphic, Motion). Geek.

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