LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Lockport Memorial Hospital isn’t quite ready to take on patients yet, but the project took a step forward on Monday with the opening of the helipad.
Mercy Flight landed at Catholic Health’s urgent care on South Transit before making its way to the new hospital and helipad on Shimer Road for the inaugural landing there.
Catholic Health says Lockport Memorial Hospital will serve as an emergency department with the space for up to 20 beds, so that patients can be treated closer to home. The urgent care will close within 24 hours of this facility opening its doors.
“We took advantage of the resources that we have at Mount St. Mary’s and we were able to redeploy them. Now we are providing specialists here, emergency services, outpatient diagnostic, imaging testing, right here in their community,” said CJ Urlaub, president of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston.
After Eastern Niagara Hospital closed earlier this year, Catholic Health created the urgent care and was treating upwards of 60 patients per day, which is more than the emergency department of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. The success of the South Transit site made it even more apparent that Lockport needed its own hospital again.
“We’re just going to bring all of that momentum and bring it here with a new state of the art building, rooms that are equipped with telehealth capabilities in every room if needed,” Jennifer Rogers, emergency department medical director at Mount St. Mary’s and Lockport Memorial hospitals, added. “We are looking for some innovative ways to use that and incorporate that for our patients.”
Emergency responders say by having a full service medical facility in Lockport, they will be able to cut down transport times, help more residents in their times of need and ultimately, save lives.
“For this facility to be here, just means improved outcomes and saved lives,” said Scott Wooton, executive vice president of Mercy Flight. “The rural parts of eastern Niagara County we’re visiting quite often whether its farming, industrial, recreation and obviously motor vehicle, but also hospital to hospital.”
South Lockport Fire Company Chief Chris McClune said the new facility will help first responders save their most precious resource: time.
“Time is of the essence. Sometimes you require immediate care by a physician and this is going to put them right back in our backyard again,” McClune said. “So this is a great thing for Lockport and all of eastern Niagara County.”
Catholic Health owns a large swath of land around the hospital. When asked if there are plans to expand and add more services, hospital President Urlaub said, “stay tuned.”
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.