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Women & Children's move to Medical Campus under study

  Women & Children's Hospital, faced with neighborhood opposition to an expansion project, is seriously considering construction of an outpatient center on the medical campus on High Street.

   It is one of a handful of alternatives under study, including sticking with the current proposal, but it has huge implications. It would mean the eventual move of the rest of the hospital.

   Women & Children's two years ago proposed building a $60-million ambulatory care center across the street from its main campus, a major piece of its future development strategy.

   But neighbors strongly oppose key elements of the project, which includes demolition of homes to make room for the center and for expanding a parking lot.

   Unsure that changes to resolve residents' concerns are feasible, hospital physicians have started examining other options, especially relocation to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

   Kaleida Health in 2002 committed to keep Women & Children's as a free-standing facility in the city's Elmwood Village following fierce community and physician opposition over a plan to relocate the pediatric hospital on the medical campus.

   Now, perspectives appear to have changed.

   For one thing, Kaleida Health and others are turning what was only a vision of a centralized core of medical and research facilities into a compelling reality, especially with construction of a new center for heart and vascular care.

   What do you think?

   … Henry L. Davis

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