Local Matters

Community Sponsors

United Memorial Medical Center

July 21, 2021 - 10:49am

pdc_ummc_1.jpg

“Explore (the) reduction of parking and increase green space. Goal: no parking.”

With that note to himself penciled in along the border of a sketch design showing a proposed parking lot where the Genesee Area Family YMCA currently sits, Michael Mistriner is going back to the drawing board in an attempt to zero in on a final site plan for the Healthy Living Campus project.

Mistriner, principal architect for Clark Patterson Lee in Buffalo, and David Ciurzynski, project manager, appeared before the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday night, presenting their ideas of how the $30 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative venture should look upon completion sometime in 2023.

Members of the PDC, while thoroughly impressed with the design of the building that would house a new Genesee Area Family YMCA and medical offices affiliated with Rochester Regional Health and United Memorial Medical Center, weren’t totally on board with other aspects of the site plan. Specifically, the lack of green space along Main Street and a proposed entrance/exit into the campus from Summit Street.

The scope of the project calls for razing three buildings on East Main Street – the existing YMCA, a medical office building (former Cary Hall) and a maintenance building. The proposed new facility will include the two-story, 69,420-square-foot building, off-street parking, new access point from Summit Street and site work/landscaping throughout the complex.

All of the parcels involved have been rezoned from P-2 (Planned Development) to C-3 (Commercial).

PARKING VERSUS GREEN SPACE

Ciurzynski, Mistriner and UMMC President Dan Ireland indicated that their intention was to balance the amount of parking around the facility with green space, contending that additional parking would be necessary to accommodate the anticipated increase in business.

The current site plan does show some green space closer to Main Street, backed by a hedgerow to screen that from a 50-space parking lot that is next to the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council building and bumps up against the east wall of the Office for the Aging building.

“This (the green space) comes out as a flat surface and you can see people exercising (in a rendering) so the idea is we want to get out of the building; get on the street and really take advantage of that and building a program around it,” Mistriner said.

The site plan also shows a walkway between the new YMCA/UMMC facility and the Main Street parking area.

“We’re in talks with the GO ART! people to find out how we can utilize the space to activate the music courtyard that they have there and give us a nice visual,” Ciurzynski said. “We want to encourage activity between the two buildings … with hopes that something in the future could go here.”

Planner David Beatty said he liked the idea of green space there, but suggested that it be increased at the expense of eliminating some of the parking. It also was noted that in a Commercial zone, there are no minimum requirements for parking.

BEATTY: MORE OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS

“You have a new building … and we have some minimal ideas about outdoor space,” he said. “You talk about healthy outdoors, well there’s not that many outdoor spaces. So, that’s one of my basic problems about the site."

Beatty said he didn’t see the space being created by the removal of the existing YMCA as being fully utilized, and that prevents residents from getting the most benefit from what is supposed to be a “healthy living” setting.

“Right now, you’ve got little spaces, outdoor spaces, and you’ve got parking lots,” he added.

PDC Member Rebecca Cohen agreed with Beatty, adding that as it currently stands, the campus “doesn’t look like it’s functional.”

Mistriner said he understood where they were was going and drew lines on the design drawing that would expand the green space farther north, about halfway into the proposed parking area.

Later, as they concluded the review and had persuaded Mistriner to rethink the layout, Beatty said, “Ideally, I don’t want any parking there.”

“Outdoor space – it’s a huge opportunity for your facility,” Beatty said.

Ciurzynski replied, “We’ll just have to finish our study on the parking to see what … You have to understand that a significant amount of that parking space will be taken up during regular business hours for the clinic that is on the second floor. We’ve got to balance all of that out.”

IS SUMMIT STREET ACCESS NECESSARY?

PDC members Ed Flynn and Cohen said they questioned the need for an entrance/exit driveway from Summit Street, which would use an open area owned by UMMC, located between two houses on the west side of the street. Plans call for landscaping and buffering with trees the driveway.

Cohen mentioned the amount of vehicle traffic on the street, considering that St. Joseph’s School and Resurrection Parish are on the east side of the road, and also pedestrian traffic of pupils from that school and the Batavia Middle School on Ross Street.

Ciurzynski said a traffic study showed that an access point from Summit is vital to the flow of traffic in and out of the campus, giving motorists an option other than Bank Street, Washington Avenue and (the one-way) Wiard Street. He said he didn’t believe it would interfere with school traffic.

“We would hope that most of this traffic coming out onto Summit Street would be making a right-hand turn whereas the school drop-off is more on the east side of the road, so they should be passing in opposite directions,” he explained.

In any event, before a Summit Street access point would become reality, the residents in that area would have to be contacted about the proposal and a public hearing would have to be held.

Cohen said she thought the project, overall, is “fantastic” but her biggest concern was “integrating it seamlessly into the community – making it walkable, making it more available, and not just a big block in the middle of our downtown.”

LIGHTING UP WIARD STREET

Earlier, Cohen brought up the issue of adequate lighting along Wiard Street, an area that she said “traditionally is a little dicey at night.”

Ciurzynski responded by saying that plans are to place wall lighting on the east side of the new building to illuminate the street, while not having lights shine on adjacent residential properties.

The consultants opened the review by providing samples of the building elements – brick, limestone, extensive use of glass, sunscreens and other environmentally friendly materials that wash easily and also complement the colors and designs of existing buildings in that downtown area. They also said they considered the height of adjacent buildings in their design of the Healthy Living Campus building to ensure a uniform look.

Ciurzynski said he was concerned about the delay in completing the State Environmental Quality Review, which must be done before a contract with the state Department of Health can be signed to release $7.5 million in grant funding for the UMMC portion of the project.

“If we don’t get the SEQR, we don’t finalize our contract and we can’t start drawing funds against that,” he said. “We really need to start drawing funds against that because we need to start some of the demolition and we still have design to pay for and things like that.”

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said that since it looks as though the architects were getting closer to a final, approved site plan, that the environmental review could be completed soon, possibly by the PDC’s next meeting on Aug. 17.

Primary sources of funding are $4.075 million in DRI money for the YMCA and the DOH Transformation 2 grant for $7.5 million.

“The balance of it is other foundations and other fundraising that we have done in the area,” Ciurzynski said. “We will have to do conventional financing to build the project, so anytime you do a project like this and you have funding sources that are relying upon you spending the money, and getting reimbursed – as well as public support -- you have to have that money somehow in place for construction.”

He said that more than $11 million has been raised through fundraising efforts thus far.

“We’re getting there; we’re doing really well,” he said.

pdc_ummc_2.jpg

ymca_2.jpg

ymca_campus_3_.jpg

Photo at top: Michael Mistriner, left; Dan Ireland and David Ciurzynski present Healthy Living Campus site plan to City Planning & Development Committee, from left, Meg Chilano, Doug Randall, Rebecca Cohen, Matt Gray, Ed Flynn, Duane Preston, David Beatty and John Ognibene; photos at bottom: Mistriner and Ciurzynski; rendering of the building; overhead site plan with Main Street at the bottom of the drawing. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

May 12, 2021 - 2:10pm

The Genesee County Planning Board is in for a busy night on Thursday with an agenda featuring 17 referrals, including a proposal to build an outdoor dining space at the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford and another to develop a 346-site campground and recreation area on Perry Road in Pavilion.

The meeting will take place at 7 o’clock via Zoom videoconferencing.

Owners Timothy Adams and Steven Foster have submitted a site plan and request for a special use permit to place an outdoor dining pavilion at the rear of the Red Osier property on Route 5.

Plans call for the covered shelter to be set on a 30- by 40-foot concrete pad to the south of the restaurant. The owners also are looking to add a portable 12- by 24-foot manufactured shed for storage and aesthetics, adding that the dumpster will be relocated away from that area and also will be on a concrete pad and fenced in.

Preliminary word is that planning department staff suggests approval of the referral, stating that the proposed pavilion and improvements should pose no significant countywide or intercommunity impact.

Jesse Coots, of Le Roy, submitted a site plan and is asking for a special use permit to create and operate the campground at 10156 Perry Road. The plan calls for building it in two phases, using 20 to 30 acres of a 94-acre parcel that is zoned Agricultural-Residential. Currently, the land consists of woodland and farm fields.

Approval with modification is recommended by planning staff, who are asking the board to require the applicant to provide proof that there will be no adverse impact upon wetlands and to obtain a stormwater permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Other referrals include the following:

  • Rezoning of 211 E. Main St., Batavia, from P-2 (Planned Development) to C-3 (Commercial) for consistency purposes prior to demolition of Cary Hall and eventual construction of the Healthy Living Campus joint venture between the GLOW YMCA and United Memorial Medical Center.

Currently, Cary Hall is not being used. It formerly housed medical offices and, before that, was the home of the McAuley School of Practical Nursing.

County planning staff has determined that the zoning change is not inconsistent with the City of Batavia’s comprehensive plan adopted in 2017 and should go forward.

  • A site plan review of a new liquor store at 9 E. Main St., Corfu, to be owned and operated by Brittany Schafer.

In documents submitted by Schafer, she plans to call the business Brittany’s Booze Barn and be open from the hours of 1 to 8 p.m., hopefully by July 4. It is in a Commercial-Residential District with existing residential space upstairs.

Planning staff recommends approval.

  • A special use permit to develop a 5-megawatt community solar project at 7209 Oak Orchard Road, Elba, just south of Route 262, covering half of a 55-acre parcel owned by CY Properties LLC.

Documents state that NY CDG Genesee I LLC, of Acton, Ontario, Canada, is planning to install about 16,400 solar panels on 200 free standing tracking solar table modules, as well as new electrical equipment, accessories, concrete pads for equipment and new gravel access drive.

The land is zoned Business and Agricultural-Residential.

A letter from LaBella Associates, representing the solar group, indicates that a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement through the Genesee County Economic Development Center will be requested.

County planning staff has determined that since the project will be on prime farm land, the applicant should relocate the portion of the driveway and equipment pad currently proposed through the middle of the field to the edge of the field or amend the decommissioning plan to minimize the impact on the soil.

  • A special use permit request by Tanya Peal to operate a one-chair hair salon in her home at 1 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, in a Residential District. Her paperwork indicates that customers will be received on an appointment-only basis and she has room to park four vehicles.

The recommendation of county staff is for approval.

  • An area variance for Rochester Regional Health to modify the size of parking spaces from 10- by 20-feet to 9- by 18-feet at the site of its proposed 140,000-square-foot medical office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road, Batavia – north of the Thruway exit. The change would increase the number of parking spots from 360 to 432.

Consultants for RRH state that the modification will allow the required amount of onsite parking to be provided, while satisfying the town’s request for an access agreement along the northern boundary of the site. The access requirement reduces slightly the space for parking, resulting in the need to go to a 9 by 18 parking spot configuration.

Planning staff has determined that the proposed variance should pose no significant countywide or intercommunity impact.

May 8, 2021 - 3:15pm

Before Cary Hall at 211 E. Main St. can come tumbling down, the land that it sits on needs to be rezoned, according to the consultant representing the GLOW YMCA and United Memorial Medical Center in their efforts to construct a new Healthy Living Campus in Downtown Batavia.

David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, of Attica, has petitioned City Council to change the zoning of that parcel from P-2 (Planned Development) to C-3 (Commercial) in order to have all of the land involved in the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative project under the same zoning designation.

P-2 refers to the current office medical building that is on the site originally occupied by the Cary Mansion, which was demolished in 1964 after nearly 150 years as a historical landmark.

“We have to take three or four parcels and combine them into one for the new building,” Ciurzynski said today. “It’s a commonplace process in projects such as this.”

The matter is on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council Special Conference and Business meetings.

A $30 million venture, the building will provide integrated services of the YMCA and UMMC, which is part of the Rochester Regional Health system. Construction is scheduled to start this fall and is expected to last into 2023.

The two-story facility will be situated on a stretch of land between the current YMCA and Wiard Street, covering 211 and 213 E. Main St. The parcel at 213 E. Main St., which once was the site of the Batavia Elks Home, is zoned C-3.

In his letter to City Council, Ciurzynski wrote that 211 E. Main St. “was likely kept as P-2 given the use of the building at the time of the zoning map changes.”

“The property was most recently used as a medical office building storage (it is empty now) and will be demolished to make room for the new GLOW YMCA/UMMC Healthy Living Campus upon approval of this rezone request," he wrote. "Upon completion of the new campus, the existing YMCA will be demolished.”

City Manager Rachael Tabelski, in a memo dated April 29 to City Council, advised that Council has the authority to refer matters such as these to the City Planning & Development Committee for review and recommendation. Thus, Council will consider a resolution drafted to make that happen.

Some history of 211 E. Main St., per a story on The Batavian, from 2012.

  • The Cary Mansion was sold to St. Jerome Hospital in 1959 and it was taken down with about 30 days' notice five years later per orders of the hospital’s board of directors;
  • The hospital began building a nursing school on the back of the property and then with very little notice decided to tear down the mansion to expand the nursing school, which was called the Catherine McAuley School of Practical Nursing. The program ran from 1963 to 1981.
  • In 2012, a marker commemorating the mansion site was erected. The inscription reads: 1817-1964. A gift to his wife by Trumbull Cary, merchant, bank founder, NYS senator and first Batavia treasurer. The marker was paid for by the William C. Pomeroy Foundation.
  • The building is now called Cary Hall and is owned by UMMC.
February 17, 2021 - 2:28pm

The Batavia City Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday night approved a site plan for a radiology/intensive care unit addition at United Memorial Medical Center at 127 North St.

The hospital’s request for an area variance -- in light of the front yard setback along Summit Street Extension being about 15 feet less than the minimum requirement of 25 feet -- is scheduled to be considered by the City Zoning Board of Appeals on Feb. 25.

Doug Randall, city code enforcement officer, said that he expects the variance to be approved as well since the two-story, 5,113-square-foot addition will be in line with the previous cancer treatment center addition.

According to information provided to Randall, the project will feature a new building entrance off of Summit Street Extension, three new parking spaces and landscaping along the entire frontage of the addition. About 75 percent of the proposed addition perimeter will abut the existing hospital structure.

Additionally, plans call for an extension of the 90-degree parking area in front of the cancer center, but do not include any new hospital beds.

UMMC President Daniel Ireland and Facilities Management Director Dave Hetrick attended the PDC meeting along with Joe Hanss, architect with Clark Patterson Lee of Rochester.

Ireland, responding to an email for comment today, said the $8 million investment will result in improvements to the facility infrastructure, such as heating and cooling, and direct patient care related items, and will include a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging unit, Computerized Tomography scanner, and improved flow and access to the main campus and the Radiology Department.

“The intensive care unit portion of this project will set the stage for a future renovation that will bring state-of-the-art ICU rooms to the facility,” he added.

He said he expects crews to break ground by the end of March, with all radiology additions and renovations as well as the shell of the future ICU to be completed in early 2022.

Final timelines are dependent on the continued approvals of local governing bodies and will be set once all local approvals are obtained, Ireland noted.

In other action, the PDC approved a site plan submitted by Jack Waggoner, owner of 39-43 Jackson St. -- a structure designated for renovation with the support of $100,000 in Building Improvement Fund money in connection with the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Previously, the site plan was recommended for approval by the Genesee County Planning Board.

The application includes numerous improvements such as building out the storefront entrances, replacing windows, and installing new lighting, retractable fabric awnings and doors.

Three businesses are on the lower floor and five office units are on the top floor.

Waggoner said he is in the process of contracting with an architectural firm and hopes to begin renovations in May.

Previously: County planners to consider site plan for renovations at 39-43 Jackson St.

December 22, 2020 - 3:56pm

laurie_picture_2.jpg

Other than “a little arm soreness,” Laurie Kilbury Taylor, DO, an attending physician in the Emergency Department at United Memorial Medical Center, said she had no problem with the initial dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and is looking forward – for a number of reasons – to completing the process.

Kilbury Taylor (pictured above) was among the first UMMC staff members to receive the vaccine – “I felt very privileged to be invited to be in the first group,” she said – and said all of her colleagues are on board with being vaccinated.

She took part in a Zoom videoconference interview this morning to give an update on how she is feeling and share some of her other thoughts after getting the first of two shots last Thursday.

“Right afterwards, I felt normal. There was no pain .. I had no side effects; I had no allergic reaction,” she said. “And then, I think later on in the day, I felt a little arm soreness and that extended until the next day.”

She said she took some ibuprofen when she got home and again the next day.

“That was about it. Since then, then I’ve been fine,” she added.

Kilbury Taylor said the procedure is similar to the flu and other vaccinations, noting that the arm soreness “is to be expected when they stick a sharp needle in your arm.”

“Maybe it was a little bit more than what the flu shot was, but much less than, say, the tetanus shot,” she said.

Still, she said she had no restriction of motion and was able to do everything she needed to do.

According to the Food & Drug Administration, side effects of the vaccine typically begin within two days and are resolved a day or two after that. The most common consequences listed are tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever.

On a personal note, Kilbury Taylor shared that her 83-year-old mother, who has some medical issues, lives with her.

“I am always worried about coming home and having to take care of her and possibly transmitting COVID to her unknowingly because there are some asymptomatic carrier people,” she said. “Also, myself, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a little older and I do have asthma. So, for me being working in an environment where I’m constantly confronted with patients that have COVID or suspected COVID – although I’m wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) -- it only takes once to touch your face when you don’t realize you’re doing it.”

Kilbury Taylor said the vaccine provides hope of ending the pandemic and help “to reduce this so we can get back to somewhat normal lives.”

“I am very hopeful that this can help us take care of our patients better, with more confidence. I hope that it will reduce transmission, and I hope, most importantly, is to reduce the severity,” she said. “Some of these people get very, very sick, and it may not prevent getting infected but it may – as the flu shot does – decrease the severity of the illness if you do get sick.”

She said she is scheduled to get the second of the two doses on Jan. 4. The two doses combined reportedly are 94- to 95-percent effective.

She also encourages people to not believe everything they read or hear on the internet or on social media.

“Despite the fear you see on the internet, those aren’t reputable sources … It was very easy, very little discomfort,” she said. “I’m excited. It’s something you can do for your family and the community …”

Kilbury Taylor said the vaccine gives her some “reassurance” that eventually she will have some protection against the virus.

“It’s not instantaneous. It takes a few weeks to build your immunity and get the booster shot. We, of course, will continue to use the PPE and wear our gowns and our masks and our shields, our gloves – and wash in and out – but it’s a sense of hope that eventually these restrictions will be relaxed,” she said.

Other doctors and medical professionals are ready and willing to get the vaccine, she said.

“They can’t wait to get the vaccine, and they’re worried. 'Are they going to run out before I get mine?’ is the biggest concern of the physicians.”

Photo courtesy of Rochester Regional Health.

December 1, 2020 - 9:41pm

rrh_building.jpg

rrh2_building_2.jpg

Rochester Regional Health is looking to extend its reach in Genesee County through the construction of a four-story, 140,000-square-foot office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), across the road from Federal Drive and near Call Parkway, in the Town of Batavia.

"This campus is the latest step in Rochester Regional Health’s plan to expand access to care," said Dan Ireland, president of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, which is part of the RRH system. "Over the past few years, we have opened similar multi-specialty campuses in Irondequoit, Henrietta, Webster/Penfield, and Geneva, with another campus scheduled to open in Geneseo.” 

Ireland took part in the Town of Batavia Planning Board's Zoom videoconference meeting tonight.

The project was introduced to planners by Andrew Kosa, principal associate with Clark Patterson Lee engineering firm in Rochester.

Kosa said that 90,000 square feet will be allotted for office space and that 360 parking spaces will be available – with 63 of them in a first-floor parking garage.

The applicant will need approval of its site plan along with an area variance related to the height of the building and a negative declaration on a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) to proceed with the project.

Kosa was joined on the call by Michael Owen, vice president, Healthcare Construction for RRH; Michelle Trott of CPL principal for the project, and Thomas Bock, civil engineer and lead engineer for the site plan.

“We’ve completed a traffic study … showing mitigation for the turn lanes out of the entrance driveway, and also made submission to the New York State Department of Transportation on Nov. 12 to get its preliminary review of the plan and traffic study,” Kosa added.

Town planners voted to seek lead agency for the SEQR, and advised that the project will have to be referred to the Genesee County Planning Board for its recommendation and then to the Town Zoning Board of Appeals (for the area variance).

Town Engineer Steve Mountain mentioned that this is a tax-exempt project that offers much in the way of economic benefit to the municipality.

“Through the SEQR process we have looked at the economic impacts and the best cost benefits … and there are a lot of benefits to the project,” he said.

Ireland said it is a prime opportunity for RRH to create additional space for medical purposes.

“There’s a substantial need for that in our community, and really to consolidate some of the medical specialty practices as well as grow medical specialties in the community that don’t exist today,” he said. "(This is) bringing services under one area and easily accessible to the surrounding region, which will draw patients into the area as well as bringing needed providers into the area."

Ireland added that RHH will provide information about the specific services as the project progresses.

Solar Project Moves Forward

Town planners also approved seeking lead agency status for a SEQR on a two-phase community solar project on property owned by Don Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

Partridge, a member of the planning board, recused himself on all matters connected to the venture, which is proceeding as Trousdale Solar I and Trousdale Solar II.

The first phase is a 5-megawatt array covering 20 acres of a 65-acre parcel while the second phase is a 4-megawatt system covering 20 acres on a 71-acre parcel, said Jerry Leone of Rochester, representing Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, project developer.

Leone said that area residents will be able to purchase electricity as a result of the system at a better price than what they get through National Grid.

“They don’t have to be connected to it physically – it would be delivered to you through National Grid in a similar way that you purchase electricity now, and that electricity would be offered at a discount from what you currently pay,” he advised.

He said that the National Grid service along the road is capable of handling the project, a bifacial system that generates power on both the front and back of the solar panels.

“The panels will be no higher than 12 feet once installed … and there are no wetlands and some tree removal,” Leone said. “We’re not seeking any variances and have followed appropriate setbacks as required.”

Leone also offered that his company has a partnership with the Genesee County Economic Development Center and a partnership with Cornell University for pollinator species – “plantings and grass that are friendly to bees and the like.”

Planners will need to schedule a public hearing on the application, likely several weeks away, after it goes before the Genesee County Planning Board on Dec. 10.

LandPro to Construct Facility

Andrew Schmieder of Alexander, project designer, reported the intention of LandPro – a John Deere sales and service company – to build a sales, storage and maintenance facility at 4554 W. Saile Drive, near the Volvo Rents equipment building.

He said the LandPro has committed to 13,000 square feet of retail sales area, 5,000 square feet for parts storage, and a 28,000 square feet to perform maintenance.

“They primarily will be servicing turf and agricultural equipment,” he said, adding that he doesn’t anticipate a lot of traffic coming in and out of the area.

The applicant is seeking approval of its site plan, which also will be reviewed by county planners on Dec. 10.

Project Manager David Ciurzynski of Attica said LandPro will be seeking tax abatements from the GCEDC. Paul Williams of Baldwinsville, operations manager for LandPro, also was on the Zoom call.

landpro_building.jpg

Architect renderings courtesy of Genesee County Planning Department. Top photos, two views of Rochester Regional Health building; bottom photo, LandPro building. 

May 7, 2020 - 12:33pm

sage_1.jpg

sage_on_ummc_floor_1.jpg

mary_and_friends_2.jpg

Mary Sage, a longtime nurse at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia with two “retirement” dates on her resume, said she didn’t blink an eye when hospital officials summoned her back into duty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They called me out of the blue. I didn’t expect it but I never hesitated. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll come back; not a problem,’ ” Sage said today during a Zoom videoconference set up by the Rochester Regional Health public information department.

Sage has been assigned to the medical surgery floor, located on the second floor’s new wing, and is taking care of a variety of patients, including those infected with the coronavirus.

She said she is tapping into her vast experience and knowledge gained over 30 years in the profession to provide just what is needed during what she calls a “very frightening” time.

“I am a better nurse today and a better person today because I’m older (she’s 72) and as you age, you certainly get wiser,” Sage said. “I’ve had to take care of a sick husband, I’ve been a patient myself, and I do believe that makes me a better nurse …”

She said that she has dealt with all kinds of illness, but nothing like the coronavirus that has swept through the world.

“I had a patient last week who they all of a sudden put her on COVID restrictions. It’s very frightening for them. I didn’t hesitate. I garbed up and did what I do,” she said. “But I realized very quickly that the patients are very frightened because they don’t understand what’s happening. You have to go through a lot of explanation – there’s a lot of testing, a lot of this and a lot of that. We have to garb, they have to put the mask on – and it’s just very frightening. But I think with a lot of reassurance, they get through it.”

Sage, who has held several positions at UMMC including supervisory roles, said she recalled the time many years ago when an infection control specialist came to the hospital and taught the nursing staff about pandemics.

“We kind of laughed, but I’m not laughing today … this is the real deal. It’s scary for everybody,” she said, adding that the woman patient with the virus was retested and fortunately the results came back negative.

Since coming back for another stint at UMMC, Sage said that learning the computer has been a “big-time change but it has been fun.”

“I understand that we’re in the information age, however I am a bedside nurse,” she said proudly. “You come into this facility and I’m going to take care of you. So, for me, the computer is secondary but it’s still important. Nursing at the bedside and taking care of your every need is more important to me.”

Sage, who also has volunteered in the surgical waiting area at UMMC since 2011 – racking up 728 volunteer hours through 2019, said she is currently working on a per diem basis. She retired as a full-time nurse for the first time in 2010 and then again in 2016.

“I have been working a couple days since I came back trying to gear up – orientation, learning the computer, getting back in gear,” she said. “It just depends … if we have another surge in the fall, I may work sporadically through the summer and come back in the fall – and I’m perfectly willing to do that.”

Her willingness to jump back into the fray exemplifies the caring nature of nurses and casts a bright light on the profession, which is celebrating National Nurses Week through May 12th, which happens to be the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

“I remember that when I was very young, this was something I always wanted to do,” said Sage, who grew up in Wyoming County and now lives in Clarence. “Unfortunately, … my parents didn’t see education as very important in those days. But I was still determined. I worked for a year, I saved my money and came to Catherine McAuley School of Practical Nursing here in Batavia that was associated with St. Jerome Hospital. That’s where I got my initial training – in 1967.”

A graduate of Genesee Community College and Daemen College in Buffalo, Sage explained just how far nursing has progressed.

“We carried our meds on a little tray, we gave enemas and passed a few aspirin. The doctors did everything else. When the physicians came into the nurses’ station, you stood up and gave them your chair,” she said. “The information age has certainly enhanced nursing, but once you’re a bedside nurse, you’re always a bedside nurse."

Sage said as she matured she “changed her MO” as far as taking care of patients – shedding a task-oriented approach – and finding satisfaction in knowing she is helping another person.

“I probably would have come back here for nothing because I like doing what I’m doing,” she said. “… that’s what I love the most, that I can go into a patient’s room, I need some basic information and pick up right away. That’s what I care about the most.”

Her children have followed her into the medical field.

Daughter, Barbara, an Elba resident, is a registered nurse at UMMC in charge of the surgical associates’ office, and her son, Jeff, whose home in Akron is not far from his mom’s house, is an athletic trainer at Daemen College in Buffalo.

Asked if it was a good thing that her son is nearby, Sage said it usually is but not at the moment because of the social distancing mandates.

“I can’t see the grandkids right now, so on my way home I’m going to stop and do a dance outside their window,” she said, noting she also enjoys gardening. “You gotta keep moving.”

Photos at top: Mary Sage, taken while speaking via Zoom videoconferencing service earlier today with Stacey Pastuszynski of Rochester Regional Health public information office in background; Sage, second from left, on the UMMC medical surgical floor; Sage and her nursing colleagues.

April 24, 2018 - 12:10pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 9, 2018 - 6:00pm

Event Name: United Memorial Medical Center Foundation’s Spring Gala

Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018

Time: 6:00 pm

Location & Address: Richard C. Call Arena, Genesee Community College | 1 College Road, Batavia, NY  14020

Tickets: $100 each

Purchase Tickets and Sponsorships:

August 19, 2010 - 4:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, United Memorial Medical Center, UMMC.

Here's a news release from United Memorial Medical Center.

United Memorial Medical Center celebrates its 10th anniversary with a Health Fair and Chicken Barbecue from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. The celebration has been planned to coincide with the City of Batavia’s “Summer in the City” event.

Proceeds from the Chicken Barbecue will benefit the Surgical Expansion Project at the Hospital’s North Street Campus. Tickets are $8 each and are available at the Hospital Cashier’s office or by phoning (585) 344-5415. Tickets may be purchased using cash, check or major credit card.

The barbecue will run from 12 noon until sold out. Dinner includes grilled barbecue chicken, potato salad, vegetable, roll and beverage. They will be packaged for take-out but tables and chairs will be available under the tent where guests can enjoy live music performed by the local band, Buffalo Road Show from 12-2:30 p.m.

Rochester radio’s WBEE 92.5 FM will host a live remote with on-air personality Billy Kidd from 3-5 p.m.

This is an opportunity for the community to celebrate United Memorial’s 10th anniversary and learn about current and future hospital projects such as the surgical expansion, housing renovation, physical therapy facility and urgent care service.

The project to renovate the top four floors of the former St. Jerome Hospital is nearing completion and guided tours of the senior apartments will be offered.

The Health Fair will feature free screenings, within the Jerome Center, provided by United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department for total cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat analysis, and blood glucose. (Please fast for two hours prior to the blood glucose test for accurate results.)

Outside, under the tent, several community partners will offer information, free giveaways and have a Child Safe ID booth.

Participants include the YMCA, the Genesee County Sheriff's Department, City of Batavia Police Department, HCR Home Care, Cancer Services Partnership of Genesee and Orleans Counties, Batavia Ophthalmology, Genesee Hospitalists, Conifer Realty, Lake Plains Community Care, GCASA, and The Justice for Children Advocacy Center.

October 15, 2009 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, United Memorial Medical Center.

ummc_groundbreaking.jpg

A host of local dignitaries and medical professionals gathered in the North Street parking lot today for a groundbreaking ceremony on a $20 million expansion of United Memorial Medical Center.

The project will add 44,000 square feet to the facility as a one-story addition to the front of the current structure. Operating room space will double from 300 square feet to 600 square feet. An additional 19 private recovery beds will be added to the hospital as well.
 

July 23, 2009 - 8:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in United Memorial Medical Center, Mercy Flight.

By the end of the summer, city residents will no longer hear the wap-wap-wap of Mercy Flight helicopter blades flying in and out of UMMC, the hospital's spokeswoman Colleen Flynn told WBTA.

Flynn said the heli-pad at the hospital will provide new parking spaces.

She said patients requiring air transport from UMMC to Buffalo or Rochester would first be taken via ground ambulance to the Mercy Flight facility at the Genesee County Airport.

June 25, 2009 - 7:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in United Memorial Medical Center, Swine Flu, h1n1.

Officials of United Memorial Medical Center met with local media this afternoon to confirm a report earlier in the day by The Batavian that a member of the hospital staff tested positive for the H1N1 strain of flu and to discuss precautions instituted by the hospital.

During the conference, both spokeswoman Colleen Flynn and Lorri Goergen, infection prevention manager, confirmed that other employees have reported flu-like symptoms, but the cases seem largely unrelated.

The fact is, as the County's interim health director Randy Garney, discussed with The Batavian this morning, H1N1 is now widespread in Genesee County.

"The first one who called in (sick) with symptoms had no contact with the first case we identified," Goergen said. "What seemed to happen almost simultaneously is that our ER had a sudden increase in patients coming in with the same symptoms, and the doctor's offices this Monday were calling quite rapidly."

The first infected employee is recovering at home, Flynn said.

Flynn said the hospital reacted quickly and transparently with employees about the first confirmed case, sending out a memo Tuesday telling employees to stay home if they had even subtle flu-like symptoms. 

All of the employees and the doctors of patients who might have come into contact with the infected worker were given instructions and opportunities for preventative steps.  Exposed employees were screened and offered anti-viral medications.

As Garney discussed this morning, because this is not currently flu season, any flu-like feelings should be considered H1N1. People who feel ill should stay home and have minimal contact with other people. If you feel sick, call your doctor. Health officials stress it is best to avoid going to the emergency room or doctor's office unless severely ill.  H1N1, like any other flu, can be treated safely at home if directions are followed. Any public exposure by an infected person to others increases the risk of spreading the virus, and just because a case is mild in one person doesn't mean that person couldn't pass along the virus to another person who will have a much more severe reaction.

UMMC officials stressed the importance of washing your hands and avoiding hand to mouth contact.

And while your annual flu shot will not offer much protection against this new strain, they did stress the importance of annual flu shots.

As Goergen noted, some 36,000 people die from the flu every year. Any case of flu should be treated with care, not just H1N1.

Because H1N1 is now pervasive in the community, the hospital also instituted some visitation rule changes.

  • No children under 14 are allowed to visit
  • Visitors are limited to 2 per patient
  • Visiting hours should be strictly enforced
  • 4th floor (maternity ward) are restricted to fathers only
  • Time spent in the hospital should be limited -- employees are encouraged to ask visitors to avoid public areas, including the snack shop, cafeteria and lobby
April 23, 2009 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, United Memorial Medical Center, fire.

A fire alarm was triggered at UMMC, 16 Bank St. Firefighters are on scene and investigating. No further information is available at this time.

March 13, 2009 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, United Memorial Medical Center.

Press Release:

In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, United Memorial urges men and women over aged 50 to get screened for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, excluding skin cancers, and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in New York State.  Approximately, 11,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year in New York, and 4,000 men and women die from the disease annually.

Colorectal cancer is the term used for cancers that start in the colon or the rectum.  Colorectal cancer often starts as a small growth called a polyp, long before symptoms appear.  A polyp is a non-cancerous growth of tissue or tumor that grows before cancer develops. A polyp grows on the lining of the colon or rectum and may change into cancer.   “Screening tests can prevent cancer by finding it early when the chance of being cured is very good,” said Michael Merrill, MD, VP of Medical Affairs.

All men and women ages 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer.  Colorectal cancer can affect anyone, men and women alike, and the risk only increases with age. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 90 percent of colon cancer cases occur in people aged 50 and older.

Some people are at greater risk for the disease than others, though, such as those with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, history of intestinal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, and people with a history of certain inherited diseases such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer can be prevented or detected early through regular screening.  United Memorial Medical Center urges you to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer by:

·         Getting screened- Begin regular screening at age 50. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your health care provider about getting screened before age 50.

·         Eating healthy- Enjoy a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains from breads, cereals, nuts, and beans.  Eat foods with folate such as green, leafy vegetables. A daily multivitamin containing .4mg of folic acid may also be helpful.

·         Kicking the habit-If you use tobacco, quit. If you don't use tobacco, don't start.

·         Skipping the alcohol- If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.

·         Getting moving- Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing may help reduce your risk.

“Talking with your healthcare provider is vital when it comes to preventing colorectal cancer, stressed Dr. Merrill, colorectal cancer is easily treated and often curable when detected early.  The tests are often covered by Medicare and many health insurers.”

 If you are uninsured or underinsured there is a program in this community that provides access to free colorectal cancer screening.  For more information about colorectal cancer, contact the Genesee Orleans Cancer Partnership at (585)344-5497 or visit us on-line at www.ummc.org.

March 4, 2009 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, United Memorial Medical Center, economy.

We just received a press release from United Memorial Medical Center stating that 14 employees were laid off in Januray, and previously 16 vacant positions were eliminated, in response to the economic downturn.

For the past three months, United Memorial has been working to take pro-active steps in positioning the organization to effectively cope with the impact of reduced reimbursements from governmental payers and the effects of the declining stock market. To remain financially viable and protect the high level of service provided to our patients, we have applied organizational changes.

United Memorial began implementing several cost saving strategies in January which included limiting expenses unrelated to patient care, restricting the travel and education budgets and re-evaluating projects and capital purchases. All contracts for supplies, utilities and services were re-examined for cost savings. The Cardiac Rehab program was altered to increase class size and allow fewer days of operation. The Process Improvement Department was restructured under Quality Management and the employee shuttle service was outsourced.

As a part of this process, 16 vacant open positions with the equivalent hours of 12 full time employees were eliminated and since January, 14 employees were let go. While the 14 individuals affected by this action account for less than 2% of our 770 person workforce, they were our colleagues, co-workers and friends. Each possessed admirable work ethics and they have collectively provided the Hospital with decades of respected service. Those that were eligible were offered severance packages and where appropriate, options to extend their healthcare coverage.

The eliminated positions include three in management and 27 support staff.

The Surgical Expansion and Affordable Senior Housing Projects will continue as planned. The Hospital leadership team has worked conscientiously to make decisions that will allow United Memorial to continue to grow and provide quality services that meet the healthcare needs of our community.

January 28, 2009 - 4:45pm

From the United Memorial Medical Center:

United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) is sponsoring a Nurses’ Night Out event for Thursday, February 26, 2009 at Terry Hills Restaurant, 5122 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. This social and educational event is open to all nursing and pharmacy professionals.
 
Michelle Spiotta, BS, RPh, and Pharmacy Clinical Manager for United Memorial will address the 2009 Patient Safety Standard on Anticoagulation during her discussion, “Anticoagulation Management and Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia.”
 
Registration and Social Hour will be at 5:30 pm. Dinner will begin at 7:00 pm. Attendees should reserve a seat by phoning (585)344-7432 by February 23rd.
 
Non-UMMC employees will be charged $20 per person to cover the cost of dinner.

December 19, 2008 - 11:55am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, United Memorial Medical Center, weather, winter, storm.

We received the following notice of closures at the United Memorial Medical Center:

"Due to today’s severe winter weather the following outpatient services of United Memorial will be closed today:

  • Batavia Family Care

  • Tountas Family Care

  • Tonawanda Seneca Family Care

  • Byron Family Care

  • The Corporate Health Center

  • All services at the Jerome Center including laboratory and medical imaging

  • Pembroke Diagnostic Center

  • LeRoy Diagnostic Center

  • Cardiac Rehab Services, EKG, Echo and Stress Testing"

October 23, 2008 - 1:50pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, United Memorial Medical Center.

From United Memorial Medical Center:

New York State Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Tem, Dean G. Skelos, Senator Mary Lou Rath and United Memorial Medical Center CEO, Mark C. Schoell will announce New York State Senate support of the Hospital’s planned renovation of the former St. Jerome Hospital.

The former St. Jerome Hospital will be repurposed to a 37-unit affordable senior housing project, revitalizing an important area in downtown Batavia, providing jobs and improving access to healthcare.

United Memorial Medical Center was formed by the merger of Genesee Memorial and St. Jerome hospitals in January 2000. Following the merger, the majority of healthcare services were consolidated at the North Street campus, leaving the St. Jerome facility underutilized and vacant.

During the summer and fall of 2007, the former St. Jerome Hospital Emergency Department and Ground Floor were renovated to create a comprehensive outpatient diagnostic center, primary care and occupational medicine services. The housing project would address the upper four floors of the main physical plant.

WHO: Senator Dean Skelos, NYS Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Tem (9th Senate District), NYS Senator Mary Lou Rath (61st Senate District), and Mark C. Schoell, President and CEO, United Memorial Medical Center

WHEN: 5 pm on Thursday, October 23, 2008

WHERE: United Memorial Jerome Center, Bank and Washington Streets, Batavia

CONTACT: Colleen Flynn, Community Relations, United Memorial (585)344-5415 or email to: [email protected]

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button