St. Joseph Campus goes full-circle and resumes non-COVID services

St. Joseph Campus
Photo credit St. Joseph Campus/WBEN Photo

Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WBEN) - The St. Joseph Campus has come full-circle and has resumed select medical services after quickly transforming into a COVID-only treatment facility at the onset of the pandemic in March.

"We are resuming emergency services, medical services and surgical services starting yesterday," declared Catholic Health President and CEO Mark Sullivan standing in front of the St. Joseph facility on Harlem Road Monday.

The following services have resumed at the St. Joseph Campus:

  • Emergency Department
  • Metabolic Center, including cardiac rehab, physical therapy, occupational therapy
  • Endoscopy/GI Unit
  • Sleep Care
  • Select outpatient/ancillary services including Cardiology (EKG, Echo), Diagnostic Radiology (X-Ray, CT, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine)
  • Select outpatient surgical procedures including Retina, Podiatry, ENT, Plastics

The campus was quickly transformed into a COVID-only treatment facility March 19, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to grip the Buffalo and Western New York region. Now, as COVID cases have dropped across the region, Catholic Health is returning additional medical services to the facility, while still housing a COVID unit which currently has fourteen patients. 

"We were there for them when they got wheeled out the door over here and we were there for them in their last breaths with diginity and respect for them and their families," said Sullivan in referencing the majority of patients treated successfully for COVID and those who tragically lost their battle with COVID.

Catholic Health officials emphasize that stringent disinfecting practices are in place to keep all patients at all of its facilities safe and that the public should feel confident that all that can be done, is being done to isolate COVID-19 cases and exposure.  A professional cleaning company continues to carry out deep cleaning and disinfecting as St. Joseph and the other Catholic Health facilities.  Additionally, strict health screening practices are in place for all who enter the facility on a daily basis.

While Catholic Health is moving on and offering emergency, diagnostic, surgical and other services, the transition is not a signal to the community that the pandemic is nearing an end.

"We do not believe COVID is over, we do not believe it's going to be over in a month.  We are prepared for whatever comes down," says Sullivan.

Sullivan is concerned that a portion of the population has become complacent in social distancing and masking practices and urges the population to remain diligent in those practices, saying COVID is an invisible enemy.

In the event there would be a surge in COVID cases in the area, the St. Joseph Campus could transition back to a COVID-only facility, but Sullivan warns it wouldn't be a quick pivot and would be more of a gradual transition.