Kaleida Health released the following statement this morning about the labor dispute between the Catholic Health System and one of its labor unions, CWA1133:
“We have been monitoring the Mercy Hospital strike situation very closely for the past 48 hours and we have responded accordingly as we continue to see additional patient volumes here,” said Michael P. Hughes, senior vice president and chief administrative officer for Kaleida Health. “As far as impact, in the past 24 hours alone we have seen an increase in labor & delivery cases at Oishei Children’s Hospital as well as cardiac & stroke cases at the Gates Vascular Institute. Ambulance traffic at Buffalo General Medical Center, for example, was extremely high Thursday and is expected to increase even more today. ER volumes are up the past two days but remain manageable – for the time being – at Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and DeGraff Medical Park.”
Kaleida Health has opened its Corporate Command Center to assist with the continued increase in emergency room volumes, wait times and stress on bed availability.
Similar to COVID-19 peak times, the organization will balance patient loads between all of its facilities (Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, DeGraff Medical Park) as well as ECMC when needed.
Hughes added, “Kaleida Health intends to remain open and provide access to services across our organization. We continue to add resources and post positions so that we can continue to be there for the community.”
Kaleida Health is reminding the public, especially those experiencing critical medical issues like chest pain, stroke symptoms, abdominal pain, injuries, among others, to not delay care.
The Kaleida Health emergency rooms (Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, DeGraff Medical Park) and its partner ECMC remain safe, open and ready to treat emergency patients. You can check out ER wait times here: Kaleida Health – Buffalo, NY
It has also been announced that Mercy Hospital has directed obstetrical patients elsewhere, so Kaleida Health is urging expecting moms to call their physicians and follow their care provider’s recommendations.
Oishei Children’s Hospital is working with local physicians and has launched a comprehensive plan to increase capacity to care for all of our communities mom’s and babies as needed. Oishei saw an additional 10 deliveries on Thursday alone.
The strike news, the Mercy Hospital patient diversion and related closures have all hospitals preparing for the impact in the form of higher emergency room volumes, longer wait times, and stress on bed availability.
To help minimize the effects of this diversion on its staff, and patients in need of critical care services, Kaleida Health encourages those in our community to:
· First, consult with your primary care provider for official medical direction.
· Utilize our area urgent care centers like WellNow. Y
· Utilize KaleidaCares telemedicine services (also known as video visits) for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
· Download the MyKaleida app here: MyKaleida Mobile App – Kaleida Health – Buffalo, NY
For those looking for employment, Kaleida Health has dozens of positions available across all professions and sites. See here: Careers at Kaleida Health – Buffalo, NY