Inside St. Joseph Campus COVID-19 Treatment Facility

VIDEO: "We're ready to take this on"

WBEN Newsroom
March 27, 2020 - 7:47 pm

Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WBEN) - A week after it was first announced the Buffalo area would have a medical tratment facility dedicated to COVID-19, Catholic Health System is already populating the facility at the St. Joseph Campus with patients afflicted with the virus.

The facility will be known as the Catholic Health COVID-19 Treatment Facility at St. Joseph Campus.

As the first dedicated COVID-19 Treatment Facility in New York State, the 120-bed inpatient center is equipped to offer acute medical and critical care services. The first medical patients were admitted on Thursday. Critical care services are being incrementally phased in over the coming week.  

The emergency department at the hospital was closed last week and emergency services are available at the remaining Catholic Health hospitals.

“Turning an acute care community hospital into a COVID-19 Treatment Facility is not just a matter of flipping a switch,” said Mark A. Sullivan, President & CEO of Catholic Health. “What we were able to accomplish in just one week was truly an amazing feat thanks to Marty and Rebecca’s leadership, the tireless efforts of hundreds of people throughout our system, and the selfless management team at St. Joseph Campus.”

The decision to dedicate a facility to COVID-10 was made to alleviate pressure on the system’s other hospitals, while responding to Governor Cuomo’s call to increase bed capacity throughout the state.

The treatment facility is divided into clearly designated, color-coded safety zones – red, yellow, and green – partitioned by temporary walls and prominent signage to separate restricted areas and buffer zones from unrestricted areas. This helps staff instantly identify areas of the facility where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to conserve valuable resources. More than a dozen teams, with designated leaders from Sisters Hospital and throughout Catholic Health, were created to coordinate everything from Infection Control, Staff Education and Logistics, to Building Operations, Patient Care Services, and Information Technology.

Initially, the facility will be staffed by nurses and clinicians from St. Joseph Campus, and critical care physicians and specialty providers from throughout Catholic Health. “We had more than 900 associates and medical providers from across our system and 200 community providers step forward to work at our COVID-19 Treatment Facility,” Sullivan added. “Having that kind of bench strength will ensure we are able to staff this facility for as long as it takes.”

The St. Joseph Campus site is a “direct admit” COVID-19 Treatment Facility, not a walk-in care facility. That means patients who meet the facility’s admissions criteria, and have an approved physician’s order, will be admitted directly from other Catholic Health facilities. 


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