Inclusive healthcare takes center stage as Golisano Center is dedicated
Officials from Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and the Golisano Foundation today celebrated the dedication and blessing of the Golisano Center for Community Health, the only outpatient center of its kind in Western New York and one of the very few in the United States.
The $7 million, two-story, 26,000-square-foot building is supported by a $3.5 million gift from businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano. It is the largest gift in Memorial’s history.
The Center will provide comprehensive integrated health care services to adults with special needs and their families, breaking down barriers to care and supporting the Golisano Foundation’s vision of inclusive healthcare for all — ensuring that people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are in no way excluded from healthcare systems within their communities.
Open since mid-May, the Center houses a variety of services and programs including primary care, Health Home care management and care coordination services, health insurance enrollment, community outreach, housing assistance, social service supports and more.
It also houses Rivershore Inc. – an affiliate of People Inc. – the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara and a learning hub that will offer internships and other workforce development opportunities in emerging healthcare fields such as care coordination, navigation and care management.
“Niagara Falls Memorial and Western New York are blessed to have benefactors such as Tom Golisano, Ann Costello and the Golisano Foundation. Their generosity and their commitment to our community are nothing short of inspirational,” said Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “The faith they have shown in us will immeasurably improve the health status of many people who have special needs and who will never again have to worry about falling through the cracks.”
Tom Golisano, founder of the Golisano Foundation said: “Through our work increasing inclusive access to health care around the world, we know first hand how people with intellectual disabilities remain largely invisible to health clinicians, health systems and the larger global health community. I am pleased to be able to help Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center carry out its vision to make it easier for area residents with disabilities to access comprehensive high quality health care in one convenient location. The Center and the collaborative partnerships that you have established have not only made your vision a reality but have made it a model for other communities.”
Golisano Foundation Director Ann Costello said: “This new center moves us from limited impact on health disparities for people with intellectual disabilities to impact of transformative scale. In addition to the care it will provide to people, the center also represents a community-wide strategy with a core objective to solve the problem or root cause – not simply implement another program. Through its plans to strengthen and grow the field by collaborating with existing service providers the Golisano Center will most importantly improve the health delivery system by demonstrating a better way.”