July 29, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Key Senate Subcommittee Approval for $300,000 for Erie County Medical Center Corporation

Funding Approved by Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee has approved $300,000 to the Erie County Medical Center Corporation for the establishment of a Women's Bone Health Center. The funding was approved as part of the Senate Appropriation process, and has been included in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill. The bill was passed out of subcommittee and now will need to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be sent to the Senate floor, and then to the president for signature.

"Funding for the Erie County Medical Center is a wise investment in the short and long term," said Schumer. "By focusing on early prevention, we can combat disease onset and ensure the health of seniors in the community and the establishment of a top-notch bone health center in will attract qualified specialists to the region, further improving healthcare services for Western New Yorkers."

"It is critical that we invest in the life-saving care at the new Women's Bone Health Canter at the Erie County Medical Center," said Senator Gillibrand. "These federal dollars will help with medical diagnosis and treatment and cutting edge care. This is critical funding to improve health care for women in Western New York."

The Women's Bone Health Center will provide superior musculoskeletal care to patients in the Buffalo Niagara Region. This Center will be a joint effort between the departments of Primary Care, Orthopedics, Geriatrics, Rheumatology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Physiatry and Rehabilitation Medicine, and will integrate clinical care with teaching and research.

Western New York's aging population is in dire need of a center of this type.  Although these services are currently being provided, the care is fragmented and can be difficult to navigate.  The new Center will provide a one-stop approach to total patient care.  From pre-admission testing to registration, operative experience, post-op recovery, and rehab, an entire team will work together toward the best possible outcome for the patient. The region is predicted to have greater than 16 % of its population over age 65 by the year 2030.  By providing care and education to this population  - specifically in terms of osteoporosis, obesity, and women's health issues, the center can improve the health status of the population prior to disease onset. The center will provide, under one room, a Rehabilitation Center, a Community Education Center, and a patient advocacy center.

Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.