04.16.15

SCHUMER, HIGGINS URGE FEDS TO EXPEDITE APPROVALS FOR LIFE-SAVING HELICOPTER LANDING PAD AT NEW JOHN R. OISHEI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ON THE BUFFALO NIAGARA MEDICAL CAMPUS – HELIPAD WILL BE CRUCIAL FOR PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY CREWS TRANSPORTING CRITICALLY ILL & INJURED PATIENTS

New Children’s Hospital at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Will Be Completed in 2017 & Replace Current Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, as the Only Emergency Pediatric Care Facility in Western NY

 

Schumer, Higgins Say it is Critical the New John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital Has a Helipad for Transporting Patients in Life-Threatening Situations – But Feds Must First Approve the Project Before Landing Pad Construction Can Begin

 

Schumer, Higgins:  New Helipad Could Mean The Difference Between Life and Death – Feds Should Not Hold Up Construction of Helipad, Which Could Delay Project & Impact Transporting Future Patients When Hospital is Open

 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Representative Brian Higgins (NY-26) today urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to expeditiously approve a proposal that would allow for the construction of a helicopter landing pad on the roof the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. The new children’s hospital is currently under construction and is set to become a part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus when it is completed in 2017.

Kaleida Health, the largest healthcare provider in Western New York, recently submitted the proposal that would allow it to build the helipad, but first the hospital must receive approvals from several federal, state, and local entities—including the FAA—in order to get the project underway. Schumer and Higgins are pushing for the FAA to expeditiously approve this helipad, citing that it will be critical to the hospital’s ability to transport ill and injured patients in life-threatening situations once it is open. Schumer and Higgins also said that the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital will replace the current Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo as the only emergency pediatric health care facility in the region, further underscoring the need to have a helipad that would allow the hospital to receive patients when time is of the essence. Schumer and Higgins said the City of Buffalo Planning Board has already approved the project and this federal FAA approval is one of the next hurdles the hospital must clear so construction can begin. Schumer and Higgins urged the FAA to make these approvals quickly so as to not hold up construction, as a delay in the project could impact the helipad’s potential to help save lives when the hospital officially opens.

“This project is too important to get caught up in bureaucratic red tape, so I will be fighting tooth and nail to make sure the FAA grants the federal approvals needed as soon as possible to construct a helicopter landing pad at the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital. As Women and Children's Hospital has done for years, the Oishei Children's Hospital will serve our community's smallest and most vulnerable patients, as well as mothers in critical healthcare situations, and this landing pad is vital to effectively respond to emergency situations and save lives,” said Senator Schumer. “Approval of this helipad is vital to allowing construction to move forward on the new hospital – so that it can begin it’s important lifesaving work throughout Western New York.”

Congressman Higgins said, “In a health care emergency every second counts.  For Western New York families the helipad at the new Children’s Hospital will provide that critical access point to top notch pediatric health care professionals and specialized equipment geared toward the smallest of patients.  Swift approval by the FAA will ensure continued momentum on the construction project and peace of mind for the families who rely on Children’s Hospital today and those who are thankful it is here for this community in case they may need it one day.” 

“The helipad will be a life-saving feature at the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital,” said Allegra Jaros, President of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. “We appreciate Senator Schumer and Congressman Higgins’s continued support and for their advocacy to help get the application approved quickly."

 

Schumer and Higgins explained that the helipad would allow the hospital’s pediatric and neonatal emergency transport teams to reduce the time it takes for patients in critical, life-threatening situations to receive the care they need. Schumer and Higgins said the hospitals’ ability to transport patients by helicopter would be extremely important in situations involving women and children who are critically ill and in need of care as quickly as possible. Currently, the helipad is awaiting approvals from the New York State Health Department and the New York State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Services Bureau, as well as the local Buffalo Common Council, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Schumer and Higgins said securing all of these final sign-offs is necessary to getting construction of the landing pad underway. That is why Schumer and Higgins are urging the FAA to expeditiously grant its approval so that one more hurdle can be cleared and allow this project to get underway as quickly as possible. Schumer and Higgins said time is of the essence for this helipad construction because the 12-floor, 183-bed hospital is expected to be completed in 2017 and approval of its construction will help ensure the entire project stays on track.

 

A copy of Senator Schumer’s and Congressman Higgins’ letter to the FAA appears below:

 

Dear Administrator Huerta:

 

I write to urge you to approve Kaleida Health’s proposal to build a helipad on the roof of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital under construction on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

 

A helipad would help Children’s Hospital staff provide the best possible care to critically ill and injured patients. It would help the hospital’s pediatric and neonatal transport teams improve access for patients, and reduce the time it takes for patients in critical, life-threatening situations to receive the care they need. Since the hospital will replace the current Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo as the only emergency pediatric health care facility in the region, the helipad is vital in situations involving critically ill patients—where time is of the essence—who need care as quickly as possible.

 

The construction of the helipad is contingent on approval from several federal, state, and local entities, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The City of Buffalo Planning Board has already approved the helipad project. Construction of this 12-floor, 183-bed hospital is expected to be completed in 2017, and crews have already broken ground on the new facility. Quick approval of this helipad proposal will help ensure that the project stays on track.

 

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

Brian Higgins

Member of Congress

 

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