The John R. Oishei Foundation has made a gift of $5 million to the University at Buffalo to support construction of the new UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The Oishei Foundation gift provides a significant boost to UB’s plans to construct a state-of-the art medical school and equip it with the best medical technologies, labs and classrooms to be used in the education and training of physicians.
Construction of the $375 million medical school is scheduled to be completed in 2016, funded by private philanthropy and state support, including funding provided by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo through the NYSUNY 2020 legislation.
A new UB medical school at Main and High streets will provide the region with a true academic health center, allowing UB and its hospital partners to work in close proximity and collaboratively to transform Buffalo into an international destination for the best medical research, education and patient care.
Oishei Foundation Board Chair James Wadsworth views the effort as a vehicle for regional development and revitalization.
“The new medical school will strengthen the campus, generate regional economic growth and help to renew downtown Buffalo’s urban vitality,” stated Wadsworth.
Oishei Foundation President Robert D. Gioia said the foundation’s support signals its belief in what the new medical school means for the future of the region.
“The Oishei Foundation recognizes the new UB medical school as a game-changing addition to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. It will redefine our region as a hub for the very best in health care,” Gioia said. “With this gift, we join UB as fellow catalysts for change that will dramatically enhance our community’s economic vitality and quality of life.”
Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for health policy at the medical school, stressed that private philanthropy is key to completing the new facility, for which the school is raising $50 million in private funds.
“Private donations are important to the success of the new medical school, and we’re grateful that the Oishei Foundation has offered such generous support at this critical time,” said Nielsen.
UB and its supporters see the new school as providing a powerful enhancement to health care in the region, one that will raise the quality of medical students at UB and attract the best among biomedical researchers and entrepreneurs.
The facility also is expected to generate immediate and long-term economic benefits for Buffalo. Once open, the school will bring 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students to downtown Buffalo daily, a sea change that will increase the population density in the heart of the city while providing opportunities for retail and housing development, incubators, research parks and other economic development opportunities.
The John R. Oishei Foundation has been a longtime partner to UB, supporting a broad range of projects, including biomedical research, community outreach efforts, educational collaborations and arts-related programs. Examples include the development of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the launch of the UB Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (with the Buffalo Public Schools and community partners) and the Arts in Healthcare initiative.
HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, unveiled its design for the seven-story building in April. At more than a half-million gross square feet, the steel-framed building will be one of the largest constructed in Buffalo in decades.