Statement from State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D.

ALBANY - April 4, 2007 - "Erie County Medical Center's unilateral proposal to build a heart and vascular facility on its Grider Street campus is premature and in direct conflict with the spirit of the ongoing discussions ECMC and Kaleida are required to conduct in compliance with the recommendations of the Berger Commission. The commission called for ECMC and Kaleida to join in a new common governance arrangement and then for the joined entity to develop new infrastructure in which to locate comprehensive heart and vascular services.

"Instead, neither the State Health Department nor Kaleida had prior notice from ECMC about this proposal for a new heart and vascular care center before today's near simultaneous filing of a Certificate of Need in Albany and the press conference in Buffalo. I urge ECMC to instead keep the lines of communication open with the Department of Health and with its partners -- Kalieda Health and SUNY Buffalo -- to implement the Berger Commission's recommendations, which have had the force of law since January.

"We appreciate the spirit in which Kaleida and SUNY Buffalo have come to the negotiating table to advance health care for all Western New Yorkers by working closely with DOH to implement the Berger Commission's recommendations and we expect ECMC to engage in this process with equal good faith and openness."