Catholic Health Receives Approval to Resume Elective Surgery in Erie County

May 6, 2020Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates, News & PR, Press Releases

Catholic Health has received approval from the New York State Department of Health to resume elective surgery in Erie County. Last Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order (202.25) allowing elective surgeries to resume at hospitals in 35 counties across New York State, excluding Erie County, that met a number of specific conditions. As part of the order, hospitals could request a waiver based on their individual status. Catholic Health submitted a waiver last Thursday on behalf of its Erie County hospitals.

Late yesterday, the New York State Department of Health notified Catholic Health President & CEO Mark Sullivan of its support for the health system’s waiver to resume elective surgeries at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Kenmore Mercy Hospital. Today, Catholic Health will finalize key elements of the plan with New York State. Last week, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Niagara County, also part of Catholic Health, began performing elective surgery as part of the state’s first wave of approvals in counties that had lower numbers of COVID-19 patients.

Recognizing Our Dedicated COVID-19 Care Teams

“I believe the hard work of our entire healthcare team and the establishment of separate COVID-only facilities at our dedicated Treatment Facility at St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga and the St. Joseph Post-Acute Center in Orchard Park made this all possible,” said Sullivan. “Because these venues and their dedicated teams care for almost all the COVID-19 patients in Catholic Health, we were able to meet all the conditions of the Executive Order and request an exemption from the Erie County exclusion.”

Catholic Health opened its dedicated COVID-19 Treatment Center at St. Joseph Campus on March 26 to enhance quality care and create a force multiplier by transferring Coronavirus patients from its other hospital emergency departments directly to the Cheektowaga site.

“I would like to personally thank Governor Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker for enabling us to resume elective surgeries throughout Catholic Health,” said Sullivan. “This decision represents their recognition of the steps we have taken to provide a safe, highly reliable care environment for our patients, physicians, and staff during this pandemic, and their confidence in our ability to provide high quality surgical care to our community.”

More Details to Come

Catholic Health has convened a Perioperative Response Team and developed a comprehensive plan to resume elective surgeries as quickly as possible. “We will provide more details in the coming days regarding the processes and safeguards we have put in place to protect everyone’s safety, while working with our medical staff and caregivers to provide our patients with the high quality care that is our hallmark.” Sullivan added.