CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB)- Beginning this summer, Hospice patients in the Fruit Belt community will be receiving their in-patient treatment in Cheektowaga, instead of the location in their backyard, on Maple Avenue.
The decision was made by Rev. Michael Chapman, Pastor and CEO of St. John Baptist Church, which owns the property the 8-bed inpatient care center is on.
“The need for this particular facility is not as great as it was,” Chapman told News 4.
The $2.8 million facility went up in 2003, when the Fruit Belt community was in desperate need of Hospice-related care and services.
“We thought it would make a good mix to help the Hospice provide more services and a higher market penetration. And they achieved that over the past six or seven years,” Chapman said.
Now, St. John is putting more focus on affordable primary care; it’s currently opening a new community health center.
Hospice Buffalo isn’t worried about the changes; its president Patrick Flynn told News 4 patient services will not be affected.
The downtown facility currently isn’t housing anyone, and its Cheektowaga location has plenty of room for additional patients.
“We actually will be going to the State of New York to the Department of Health to ask for the commissioning of 10 additional beds here, should we need them at some point in the future. But right now we have the capacity to serve those families right here,” said Flynn.
If downtown residents need transportation to Cheektowaga, Hospice will provide that as well.
“We will continue to work with the church and the community, the minority community to make sure that people have the right access to good end of life care,” Flynn told News 4.
St. John plans to open its new community health center July 1.
For the time being, Hospice will still have a presence here, but for consultation purposes only.