FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
President – Hospice Foundation
The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care
225 Como Park Boulevard
Cheektowaga, NY 14227
Minister Michael Chapman
New Direction Announced for St. John Baptist Hospice Buffalo Inpatient Unit
Buffalo, NY May 19, 2015 - Minister Michael Chapman, Pastor and CEO of the St John Baptist Church and the Fruit Belt Community Development Corporation announced plans today for the conversion of the 8-bed St. John Baptist Hospice Buffalo Inpatient Unit at 111 Maple Avenue into a Community Health Care Clinic and Physicians Group Practice. Pastor Chapman stated, “The focus of the newly developed facility will be to meet the needs of our community and to service the growing health care needs in the area of preventive care and diseases that are specific to minorities and children.” The unit is currently leased by Hospice Buffalo and serves hospice patients requiring acute, short-term care.
“We see this new chapter of service as a natural and responsible next step to promote better health and access to community-based health care,” notes Patricia Ahern, RN, MBA, FACHE, chief executive officer of The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Hospice Buffalo’s parent company. “We can easily accommodate hospice patients at our newly renovated Cheektowaga Inpatient Unit or at one of our partner long term care facilities in Erie County, so there will not be any loss of service. All Hospice employees who work at St. John’s Hospice facility will be offered a position within the organization. Hospice will offer to maintain a community presence at the converted St. John facility to provide palliative [symptom-focused] care consultation services.”
To alleviate any logistical concerns that inner city hospice patients may have while being in the Cheektowaga facility, Hospice Buffalo plans to provide transportation, if needed, for families of these patients to the Mitchell Hospice Campus to visit their loved ones.
The St. John Baptist Fruit Belt Development Corporation is working with Hospice Buffalo to negotiate the terms and conditions related to the remainder of the lease for the facility. Hospice Buffalo and St. John Baptist Church began collaborating in 2003 to address the end of life care needs of minorities who traditionally had been under served by Hospice. Opening in 2008, the Hospice collaboration was the first of its kind in the nation and succeeded in increasing access to hospice service through a faith-based led outreach and education initiative.
Hospice Buffalo serves more than 500 patients with serious illness and their families every day in homes, hospitals, assisted living residences, nursing homes and inpatient units. The agency was recently recognized with a “Hospice Honors” designation for providing the best patient and caregiver experience.