James H. Cummings Foundation Donates $1M to John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital

The John H. Cummings Foundation presented the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital with a $1 million gift to establish the James H. Cummings Foundation Epilepsy Monitoring Center. The donation is the largest gift ever given by the Cummings Foundation.

A neurologic disorder that nearly 2.2 million people throughout the country suffer from, epilepsy causes repeated and involuntary seizures. Although anti-epileptic drugs are available as a means to treat and minimize the seizures, many individuals still experience frequent episodes that affect their quality of life.

Serving both adults and children with epilepsy, the eight bed Epilepsy Monitoring Center is offering treatment to patients at the current Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo site. For the last 4 years, the center has been recognized as a Level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.

Level 4 centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level of medical and surgical evaluations and treatments for patients with complex epilepsy. Such centers provide long-term video EEG monitoring is available, can provide accurate diagnosis and allow for optimal therapeutic intervention, in particular evaluation for epilepsy surgery, tailored anti-epileptic drug therapy, implantation of vagal nerve stimulators or initiation of the ketogenic diet.

The new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital will function as a regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services in Western New York.

“The James H. Cummings Foundation believes that having a state-of-the-art hospital focused on children’s needs is critical to our community,” stated Charles F. Kreiner, Jr., president of the James H. Cummings Foundation.

To-date, out of the $40 fundraising campaign goal for the Children’s Hospital, $30 million has been raised. The James H. Cummings Foundation continues a trend of major giving to support the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which includes the John R. Oishei Foundation, The Children’s Guild Foundation, The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, New Era and Fisher-Price/Mattel.

The James H. Cummings Foundation was established to support the philanthropic vision of its namesake. Throughout its 51-year history, the Foundation has aided countless organizations engaged in advancing charitable interests according to the guidelines and policies espoused by Mr. Cummings.  Admired for his unassuming manner, friendly air, and a quiet generosity, Mr. Cummings was dedicated to giving back to the communities he called “home.”

The John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital is scheduled to be completed in December of 2015 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. For more information, visit www.kaleidahealth.org/childrens/oishei/.

April = Donate Life Month

Unyts kicks off April, Donate Life Month, with a schedule of events to bring awareness to the importance of organ, eye and tissue donations.

  • On Friday, April 5, at 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m., Niagara Falls will light up in green to show support for the efforts that will come this month, helping to bring about more awareness.
  • On April 6, the Peace Bridge will commemorate Donate Life Month by exuding green and blue lights on the bridge.
  • In its second year, the Bucket List Bash will commence at Statler City on April 12. Much like The Bucket List movie, the event will celebrate life, the ambitions and goals yet to be accomplished, offering many the opportunity to enjoy an evening doing what they have always dreamed of. Learn more about these events here.
  • To show your Unyts pride, on April 19, dress in your most outrageous blue and green. As an alternative to dressing in blue and green, you and your colleagues can decorate your company’s office space. When you share your blue and green photos on the Unyts Facebook page, you can be entered for a chance to win a signed Hodgson Sabres jersey.

Every person registered as a donor has the opportunity to help save a life. Regardless of age, race, or medical history, anyone can become a donor. Every organ and tissue donation goes to the person with the most need, no matter their socio-economic status. With more than 115,000 people on the national waiting list to receive organ, eye and tissue transplants that may either enhance or save their lives, the call to register is important. The response, though, is what will make a difference. Unfortunately, with more than 300,000,000 million people living in the United States, the need for donors is still greater than the supply.

According to Unyts, nearly 800 people in Western New York are waiting for lifesaving organs. Every 10 minutes, 1 person is added to the national transplant list. Visit the Donate Life Registry website and become a donor today. During the month of April, each presenting donor can receive a FREE 6-inch or Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich from any Subway in Buffalo. For more information, click here.

You can help give the gift of life.

Fisher-Price & Mattel Donate $3M to New Oishei Children's Hospital

Inside Kaleida Health‘s John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital will be the Fisher-Price & Mattel Family & Child Resource Center thanks to a $3 million donation to The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation from the local toy company. The donation secured naming and construction rights by Fisher-Price, Inc. and Mattel, Inc. for the Center which will be located on the 5th floor of the new hospital.
fisherpricecenter_0In addition to interaction with and support from the Child Life and Stone’s Buddies staff, patients and families will have access to the 6,000-square-foot respite area and its designated sections. There will be areas for meditation, a chapel, family consultation rooms, and an area for computers and video games. Fisher-Price and Mattel will incorporate toy storage compartments within the play areas on each of the hospital floors, and will include branded animal sculptures within the outdoor garden.

The Center is scheduled to open in 2016 with the new hospital. Groundbreaking for the new Children’s Hospital site on the corner of Ellicott and High Streets, across from the Buffalo General Medical Center, is set to begin this spring.

Read coverage about the donation below:

Toy Makers Pledge $3 Million for Children’s Hospital Family Center

Fisher-Price, Mattel Pledge $3 Million for New Children’s Hospital

Fisher-Price, Mattel Give $3M for Children’s Hospital Project

BHSC's Therapeutic Playground Opens for Children with the Support of Donors


Left to right: Joe Cozzo, President & CEO, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center; Alexandra Wehr, Sr. Relationship Manager, KeyBank,  Marie Hare, Vice President of Community Affairs, KeyBank, and Gary Quenneville, President (Western New York District), KeyBank.

Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center (BHSC) installed a new therapeutic playground after 2 years of planning and months of construction. The playground project received a supportive boost by the KeyBank Foundation. Additional support came from the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the Rotary Club of Buffalo, the DreamCatcher Foundation, the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation and nearly 100 other individual donors from the Western New York community.

Located at 50 East North Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the playground will help to stimulate the senses of the more than 200 children who attend the school. BHSC provides innovative programs and cutting edge capabilities aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders, literacy, autism, and learning challenges.

The playground was designed by a team of physical and occupational therapists with the goal of having each piece on the playground help to meet the diverse needs of the students at BHSC in need of speech, hearing or educational services. The therapeutic playground structure consists of a large multicolored play system built on a safe rubberized surface that can accommodate the different needs of students.  The new playground offers a cohesive, natural environment where children are content and comfortable while they develop social skills at a level wp-contentropriate for them. The playground offers multiple varieties of sensory play experience so that children of all abilities are able to play and learn. By supporting the sensory needs of all children, the playground enhances individual development in ways that cannot be achieved by standard methods.

Every day, students at the BHSC learn, grow, and have fun while on the campus grounds. “Play is a very important part of the childhood experience. Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center recognizes that that act of playing is where children are able to explore, discover, create and imagine, while learning about the world around them firsthand,” said Jospeh Cozzo, President and CEO of the BHSC.

BHSC offers audiology, early childhood, speech language, and pathology services, in addition to a number of specialized programs for children and adults. Learn more about BHSC:

RPCI Completes Phase 1 for Development of Clinical Sciences Center with New Era Donation

With the help of a recent $1.5 million donation from New Era, Roswell Park Cancer Institute‘s (RPCI) Clinical Sciences Center (CSC) has reached its Phase 1 development goal.
The Making Room to Save Lives: The Campaign to Build a Greater Roswell Park is a result of RPCI’s growing patient population. Since the campaign began back in June 2011, it received a $10 million donation from Circle of 10 – a collaborative  gift from 10 well known business and philanthropic leaders in Western New York. RPCI patients even gave a $1 million gift that was included in the initial gift of $10 million. A total of 435 donors contributed to Phase I of the Making Room to Save Lives campaign.

The 11-story, 142,000 sq. ft. CSC to be built on Michigan Avenue and Carlton Street will literally make room for the increasing need for cancer services offered at one of the nation’s leading cancer centers.

RPCI’s President and CEO, Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, stated that “Over the past five years, we have seen a nearly 40% increase in patients and we have seen an almost 60% rise in outpatient wp-contentointments over the past decade.” New Era’s gift has made the process involved with meeting the needs of patients more tangible.

Connected to the main RPCI entrance, the CSC will serve as the location for patients to be screened for cancer and manage outpatient treatments. Its administrative offices will also operate out of the builing. Within the CSC will be a new Chemo-Infusion Clinic that will be twice as large as the present clinic; a Breast Center that will offer community mammography services; a new Mammography Center; an Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic; and a Patient Education/Survivorship Center for RPCI’s patients and their families. The CSC will have additional state-of-the-art office facilities and space for clinician-scientists to analyze data from clinical studies.

A supporter of cancer research, prevention and education as one of its four key platforms, New Era’s gift to Roswell Park continues a long tradition of philanthropy.

“At New Era, we strongly believe in giving back to the communities that we work and live in. One important way we do this is by engaging in partnerships and signature programs that focus on finding a cure for cancer,” said Christopher Koch, CEO of New Era.

The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation raised $40 million for Phase 1 to begin the process of building the CSC. Construction for Phase I is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013.  An additional $10 million will be raised in Phase II for the Center’s “build out” and shell space requirements.

Rendering by FxFOWLE Architects


Light-A-Life 2012 Gives the Gift of Remembrance

A great way for families to memorialize a loved one that they have lost.

Every year, the holiday season presents an opportunity to give gifts to our loved ones and to those we may not even know. While the holiday season ignites feelings of charity, love, food, and family, nostalgia often arises when it is time to make new memories in the midst of remembering those of old.

The Hospice Foundation of Western New York gives individuals and families the opportunity to memorialize loved ones during the holiday season. In its 24th year, the annual Light-A-Life fundraiser serves to honor lost loved ones and to assist with the care of patients within Hospice Buffalo. Helping to keep memories alive and provide the best care for individuals with serious end-of-life illnesses, the Hospice Foundation is shooting for a $120,000 goal this year. With the overwhelming support of family and friends last year, gifts in 2011 reached $117,000. By remembering your loved one, you can help the Hospice Foundation reach this year’s goal to support patients in hospice care.

The Light-A-Life commemorative bells will be given to supporters who give a gift of $55. The porcelain bells are the 18th in a collectible series that can be remembered for future generations. The hand-painted bells by Buffalo ceramic artist Becky Plummer of Barking Spider Pottery will have your loved one’s name inscribed in the inside by a dedicated Hospice volunteer. The traditional Light-A-Life Memorial Tree lighting event will take place on Saturday, December 1st. The trees will be adorned with red, silver, gold and green bows and tags with loved ones’ names on them.  The event is free and open to the public.

Additional gift levels include:

Did you know that Hospice Buffalo is the only licensed hospice program in Erie County? Hospice Buffalo places an emphasis on offering the best quality of life services to patients enduring end-of-life illnesses. Patients are guaranteed to receive holistic care that not only caters to physical needs, but to the social, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient as well. With the help of its team of doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual advisors, and volunteers, Hospice Buffalo serves the patient and their family members, helping each to live their best lives.

To give the gift of life and honor your loved one, please visit www.community.hospicebuffalo.com/lal2012-support










Cuomo Seeks to Boost Organ and Tissue Donations in NYS with Lauren's Law

With the help of Unyts, one the leading  procurement organizations in the nation, Western New York has one of the highest organ and tissue consent rates in the country. New York State, though, is the 3rd state with the lowest consent rates for organ and tissue donations in the U.S. With 113,000 people on the national waiting list for organ and tissue donations, 9,700 of them are residents of New York State, yet, the Empire State only has 18% of its adults registered as donors. The national average is 43%.
Beginning in October 2013, the number of New York State residents who become organ and tissue donors is expected to increase based on new language on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license wp-contentlication. A new bill signed into legislation by Governor Andrew Cuomo, called “Lauren’s Law,” requires wp-contentlicants to check one of the two options for organ donor registration. Applicants can either check “yes” or “skip this question” under the organ registration section.

Back in June, Lauren’s Law was passed by unanimous vote by the New York State Assembly and Senate. Governor Cuomo stated that “By adding this new language to DMV wp-contentlication forms, it is our hope that many more New Yorkers sign up to be on the list of those willing to donate an organ or tissue.” Cuomo recognized Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) for their efforts to support the passing of the bill into law along with advocate Lauren Shields.

The President and CEO of Unyts, Mark Simon said that “[The bill] will result in increased donations and more opportunities for life safe and life enhancing transplants.”

Lauren Shields, who is now a 12 year old girl, received a heart transplant back in 2009. Officials named the law Lauren’s Law as a result of Shields’ advocacy efforts to help save lives by organ and tissue donations. Shields is a resident of Stony Point in Rockland County. She began her battle with heart failure when she was 9 years old, diagnosed with viral myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), an illness preventing her heart from being able to pump blood through her body because it was so swollen. Today, as a recipient of a successful transplant and a healthy child, Shields aspires to become a cardiologist to help save lives.

For more about Shields’ story, watch the video below:

“I never want anyone to have to wait for a transplant like I did.” -Lauren Shields

To learn how to register and become a donor and help save a life, please visit www.unyts.org/get-involved/donor-registry/.


Landmark Gift From Oishei Foundation for Children's Hospital

A $10 million donation to Kaleida Health means the brand new hospital will be named the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, continuing to serve the women and children of Buffalo. The donor, The John R. Oishei Foundation, named the facility after the late industrialist and philanthropist, John R. Oishei, who established the Foundation in 1940.
Jim Wadsworth, Chairman of the Foundation stated that “The primary reason [Oishei] began his philanthropy back in the 1940s was to benefit the children of his employees and of the community.” The mission of the Foundation is “to be a catalyst for change to enhance economic vitality and the quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region.”

The unprecedented gift will enable the hospital to continue expanding the specialized health care services offered to its infant and women patients. The 430,000 sq. ft., 12-story facility will house a state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which received a $2 million gift in August, a connected ambulatory care center, and a family resource center. In the future, plans include a Women’s Pavilion to house labor and delivery, post partum care, the regional perinatal center for high-risk pregnancies, and a women’s health center providing prenatal and gynecological care.

“Similar to how John R. Oishei sought the best technology available in his time to create the first automobile wiper blades and ultimately the Trico Products Corporation, the Foundation that now bears his name and legacy will share its resources to make advanced technologies and care available today to improve the health and lives of families throughout our community,” said James R. Kaskie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kaleida Health.

Set to open in 2016, the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital will sit on the corner of High and Ellicott Streets, across from the Buffalo General Medical Center.

Read more coverage about the gift below:

Oishei Gift Boosts Medical Campus

Oishei Makes $10M Pledge to New Children’s Hospital

Oishei Foundation Gives Hospital $10M

New Oishei Children’s Hospital Receives $10 Million Gift

Oishei Gifts $10 Million Towards New Children’s Hospital






Kaleida's WCHOB Receives $2 M Grant from The Children's Guild Foundation

Kaleida Health‘s Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB) has received a $2 million grant from The Children’s Guild Foundation for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The grant is the largest gift given by The Children’s Guild Foundation since its 102-year establishment. Having supported the WCHOB for more than a century, the non-profit foundation continues to carry out its mission to “advocate and fund rehabilitative healthcare, research, education and therapeutic recreation programs for special needs children.”
“The Children’s Guild Foundation has been an incredible advocate and supporter for the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and countless children with special needs for generations,” said Cheryl Klass, Senior Vice President of Operations of the Buffalo General Medical Center and President of the WCHOB. She also stated that “This enormously generous gift will now ensure that future generations of newborns and their families will have direct access to the best possible critical care available.”

The gift is the first for the WCHOB and will support the construction of a state-of-the-art unit that will serve the hospital’s premature and ill infants. Nearly 250 newborns are transferred to the WCHOB from various hospitals throughout the region. Waiting for the arrival of the infants in need of care is an on-the-ground team of neonatal nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists who receive the babies from an air transport team made up of the same medical professionals.

The Board of Directors from The Children’s Guild Foundation presented the endowment to the physician and executive leadership from Kaleida and WCHOB at the Gates Vascular Institute, with the new WCHOB site view nearby. The Foundation’s Board Chair, Wendy T. Stahlka, stated that “The funding of the Neonatal Instensive Care Unit will have a direct and positive impact on the children who start their lives with developmental and physical challenges.”

“As excitement about our physician- and family-led plans for a new Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo continues to build throughout our community, this gift gives us great momentum for the move,” said James R. Kaskie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kaleida Health.

The new 12-story, 430, 000-square-foot hospital will be connected by bridges to an ambulatory care building that will sit behind the hospital, housing outpatient clinics and other support programs for the WCHOB. The hospital is set to open in 2016 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.