Kaleida Health has announced plans to modernize and double the size of DeGraff Memorial Hospital’s emergency department (ED).

The plan is to relocate the Emergency Department from the west side of hospital campus to the east side, fronting the Twin City Highway and allowing for better access, parking and visibility for patients, families and visitors.

“The expansion of the emergency department is really about serving our community better,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “With an aging population in the northtowns, more chronic conditions in the ED and a changing health care landscape, we must do all that we can to increase our capacity to treat patients experiencing illness and life-threatening emergencies.”

The $7.8 million expansion calls for 17 treatment bays, including a trauma room, a dedicated bariatric room and an airborne isolation room. It will also include a decontamination area suitable for current and emerging infectious diseases. To further accommodate geriatric patients, DeGraff will use non-glare lighting, slip proof flooring, increased family space, plus signage with oversized lettering. Kaleida Health will be submitting its construction plans as well as their certificate of need (CON) to the New York State Department of Health with the goal of breaking ground in early 2017.

Lomeo added, “The emergency department is really the front door of the hospital. It’s the way patients primarily utilize DeGraff. So, we are physically moving the ED from the back to the front – right on the primary traffic route that serves the hospital.”

Last renovated in 1975, the space will more than double from 4,800 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Jill Pawlowski, MD, site director for emergency medicine at DeGraff Memorial Hospital said, “With a new location and added space comes the opportunity to implement the most efficient processes for staff productivity which equates to better patient care.”