Tonawanda News

The Town

March 10, 2013

KMH plans to expand again

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The new ER will have 25 rooms, compared to 18 in the old facility, and is designed to handle 40,000 visits a year. It will be equipped with a centralized nursing station, a drive-up ambulance bay, two resuscitation rooms and digital radiology equipment.

Millard said the ER will be operational by July.

The $5.7 million orthopedics unit will be composed of a 15,300-square-foot facility, right above the new emergency department on the south wing of the hospital.

The second-floor facility will house 24 spacious private rooms, a staff lounge and two nurse stations, as well as a rehabilitative gym for therapy purposes.

The decision to expand the unit came as a result of high demand for orthopedic services in the area. The hospital has performed 2,500 surgeries a year and over half of those are inpatient, overnight procedures, including a great deal of total hip and knee replacements.

The orthopedics unit will likely be finished in August, Millard said.

But the expansions have come with some controversy as of late, as the union that represents many of the Kenmore Mercy nurses say the hospital is trying to reduce the employees’ benefits and incentives while spending millions on construction projects. 

Communications Workers of America Local 1133 is still negotiating the contract with hospital officials, but nurses have already voted the contract down once. Another vote is scheduled for March 19. 

“Members of the bargaining committee and others also want to make it very clear that March 19th vote is a ‘strike’ vote. Do not vote ‘no’ unless you intend to go out on strike for a significant length of time,” the CWA website says. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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