Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 13 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Martin I
home iconNews
line break icon

Catholic hospital is first facility in New York dedicated to COVID-19 patients


Halfpoint | Shutterstock

John Burger - published on 03/20/20

Western New York healthcare system converting St. Joseph's Hospital for coronavirus response.

A Catholic hospital near Buffalo, New York, will be the first facility in New York State to be completely dedicated to treating patients with the coronavirus COVID-19.

St. Joseph’s Campus of Catholic Health, a network of hospitals, primary care centers, imaging centers, and several other community ministries, will have 55 to 60 critical care beds and 100 to 120 beds in all for COVID-19 patients, according to the Buffalo News. The organization was formed in 1998 under four religious sponsors.

Mark Sullivan, president and CEO of Catholic Health, told the Buffalo News that the move is being undertaken because of St. Joseph’s location in the town of Cheektowaga, it’s flexibility, and its “ability to act expeditiously and get the site up and running.”

Sullivan made the announcement Thursday, on the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the sick.

“This can happen quickly and effectively,” he said.

Converting the hospital will be done in phases. The facility will have 55 to 60 critical care beds and 100 to 120 beds in all for COVID-19 patients.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz thanked Catholic Health for its quick response to the emergency. “They cut on a dime,” he said of the St. Joseph Campus development. “They got this done in a very short period of time.”

He added that the county will need more hospital beds. He has been in conversation with others about using the former Women & Children’s Hospital and the Buffalo Grand Hotel for other COVID-19 hospitals.

Sullivan said that designating St. Joseph’s as a COVID-19 hospital “will allow ventilator units and personal protection equipment — still in short supply — to be consolidated and protect other patients.

“By concentrating our critical care staff in this area, we will be able to manage our infection control better to minimize risk and exposure to other patients within our own facilities,” added Dr. Kevin Shiley, an infectious disease specialist at Catholic Health.

Other Catholic Health facilities are still expected to also see COVID-19 patients, even if they’re not dedicated exclusively to their treatment.

Like many hospitals and medical centers, Catholic Health has already canceled elective surgeries, limited patient visits, implemented screenings and restricted travel for employees. Elective surgeries were cancelled, Sullivan said, because they required the use of gloves, masks and gowns that need to be available for COVID-19 patients.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.