LEWISTON — When Mount St. Mary's Hospital became a part of Catholic Health last July, it marked the culmination of years of planning, numerous cooperative efforts and months of detail work. Now, in just 10 months, the merger is reaping benefits for the hospital and the local community.
Founded in 1907 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Williamsville, Mount St. Mary's has a storied history of service in the Niagara community. From its early beginnings on Sixth Street and Ferry Avenue in the city of Niagara Falls, to the construction of the current hospital on its Lewiston campus in 1965, Mount St. Mary's has carried on its Catholic tradition of providing quality health care to all.
While the hospital was fiscally strong, the changing health care climate, both locally and nationally, placed increased pressures on area providers. Since the hospital was part of Ascension Health - a national health system, which also sponsored Catholic Health - transferring direct ties from Ascension Health to Catholic Health would enable Mount St. Mary's to carry on its mission, while gaining the strength of a local partner.
One of the first tangible benefits to area patients was the investment of $450,000 in a new nurse call system for the hospital's medical-surgical units. While nurse call systems are not new to hospitals, today's technology offers many advantages for nurses and patients.
"One of our first agenda items when Mount St. Mary's joined Catholic Health, was to ask nursing leadership and staff what we could do to enhance their ability to care for patients," said Joe McDonald, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health. "A new nurse call system was at the top of the list. This state of-the-art system offers communication features, resulting in faster response times, streamlined workflow and less noise, which benefits everyone."
Another important benefit of the merger for Niagara County residents is greater access to physician specialists through Catholic Medical Partners, a network of more than 900 physicians and Catholic Health. One tangible example is the establishment of an office in the Town of Niagara by the Vascular and Endovascular Center of WNY. That means Niagara County patients no longer have to travel to Erie County for this expertise.
"We are coming up on our first anniversary with Catholic Health and continue to make great progress in aligning our organizations and enhancing care throughout the Niagara region," said Gary Tucker, president and chief executive officer of Mount St. Mary's.