BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Western New York's only Adult Trauma Center is sporting a new look after a major upgrade at ECMC.
At first glance, the new Trauma Center looks more like a hotel lobby. It's warm and inviting. Hospital administrators say the expansion is only the first of many more to come, and it seems to mean a lot to surviving trauma victims.
Nate Smith said, "Miracles do happen every day, all around us, in this building."
Smith knows firsthand what ECMC is all about. The grateful former patient and his family were asked to be part of Monday's dedication of the newly renovated Trauma Center.
"I was wheeled in on April 16 as near to death as one can be, and three months later, with great effort, I walked out on my own two legs," said Smith.
The $2.9 million expansion focused on the patient experience, making it the best it can be. Eight new state-of-the-art rooms have been added, including a sexual assault victim's room. The project also added two trauma operating rooms to its existing ten.
ECMC CEO Jody Lomeo said, "Why do the rooms surrounding you matter? Why is it so important? Any of us, any of our colleagues, co-workers, could be in need of this emergency department."
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter helped to secure the grant that made the upgrades possible.
"I think everyone in the region should sleep easier because in your midst here is one of the best trauma centers in the country," said Slaughter.
ECMC has long operated as one of the busiest ER's in the region, with nearly 60,000 patient visits each year. Smith was near death after a car accident ten years ago. He now has a wife, four children, and a new business.
Smith said, "ECMC has a pulse and an energy. That pulse is a pulse, a mission, that mission is to help people."
And it's people like Smith who offer hope to trauma victims who can now count on even better care at ECMC. The newly renovated areas are expected to open in a week or two. The project still needs the seal of approval from the Health Department. Doctors and nurses really played an active role in the design of the center.