A bittersweet end as Women and Children's Hospital moves

Final employees leave following emotional goodbye

November 10, 2017 - 8:16 pm

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - There were tears for many reasons inside the cafeteria at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo on Bryant Street Friday night.  At the end of a successful and efficient move day to the new Oishei Children's Hospital, there were tears of sadness that the long service to the community on Bryant St. would be just a memory when the doors slid closed as emotional staffers exited.

When asked at the final briefing on how the exhaustive move day went, Kaleida President and CEO Jody Lomeo responded to WBEN by calling on a 45 year Children's employee to come to

the podium.  Neonatal Registered Nurse Donna Alessi proudly walked up to the head of the gathering and hugged Lomeo and said, "it's bittersweet"

"I'm going to get emotional", said Dr. Steve Turkovich, Medical Director at the hospital as he stood before staff in  the old hospital one last time.

Dozens of staff packed the cafeteria as a final blessing and prayer was held before Lomeo detailed a smooth transition from the old hospital to the new that took place ahead of schedule and in less that 12 hours.  The 125 patients were moved by a rotating squad of fifteen ambulances that repeated the route down Bryant and Delaware to deliver their precious cargo to the new hospital where a staff awaited to greet and transition them.

Before leaving the hospital one final time, employees celebrated a champagne toast and left with their memories of their longtime work home.

Oishei Children's Hospital is now fully operational on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus where already there has been a birth and a successful surgery.  Patients, family and staff are settling in to the newness of the state of the art medical facility which is at Ellicott and High Streets and adjacent to Buffalo General and Gates Vascular.

PHOTOS: John R. Oishei Children's Hospital

AUDIO Below:  45 year employee and neonatal ICU RN Donna Alessi


Donna Alessi 45 year employee and Neonatal ICU RN

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