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Erie County Medical Center Heroically Provided Medical Staff To Help With Increased Patient Loads, Severity And Length Of Stay During COVID Outbreak

Senators Say New FEMA Funding – At A 100% Federal Cost Share – Will Reimburse Hospital For Expenses Related To Pandemic Response

Schumer, Gillibrand: Federal $$$ Will Help Erie County Medical Center Recover From Economic Impacts Of COVID-19 Pandemic And Keep Up Lifesaving Care

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) will receive $14,624,938 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover costs associated with emergency protective measures and increased staffing taken for their COVID responses dating back to the start of the pandemic in Spring 2020. This funding is provided at a 100% federal cost share, which Schumer fought hard to include for NY since the pandemic began. The senators said that today’s funding will give Erie County Medical Center the resources it needs to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, cover rising costs, and continue to keep Western New York safe.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Erie County Medical Center doctors, nurses, and staff worked around the clock to provide lifesaving care to patients, but like so many of our hospitals in Western NY they suffered extreme revenue losses due to rising pandemic-related costs. ECMC’s on-the-ground defense during this time of crisis, and hospitals like these across Western New York, were why I championed the American Rescue Plan and fought to ensure Upstate hospitals would have the federal resources to bounce back from the pandemic and be reimbursed for the expenses incurred while beating back this virus,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am proud to deliver this over $14 million federal boost to help reimburse ECMC’s expenses and ensure that it has the resources it needs, and deserves, to boost its incredible workforce, serve its patients, and ensure they can continue to provide lifesaving care to Buffalo and Western NY.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at Erie County Medical Center provided life-saving care that kept New Yorkers safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds will reimburse the hospital for the costs associated with efforts that helped protect the health and safety of those in Western New York during the pandemic. I am proud to deliver this federal funding and will continue to fight for federal resources to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Thomas J. Quatroche, President and CEO of Erie County Medical Center said, “We are extremely appreciative of Senator Schumer’s strong support in our effort to gain hospital reimbursement from FEMA.  Contract labor costs were very expensive during the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary to ensure we could support our ECMC caregivers as they worked to save the lives of the most vulnerable patients in our community.”

Schumer and Gillibrand have been relentless advocates in ensuring that Upstate communities have the federal resources needed to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) the senators both championed, Schumer and Gillibrand secured historic funding levels to provide the supplies, emergency response, testing, and public health workforce to stop the spread of COVID-19.  In 2022, Schumer also secured a first-ever agreement from FEMA that creates a pathway for reimbursement on previously rejected expenses incurred by hospitals in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, unlocking hundreds of million for New York’s hospitals, which otherwise would have been shouldered by the hospitals amidst the ongoing public health emergency.