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Niagara Falls Memorial honors employees for years of service

Niagara Falls Repoerter

May 24, 2011

By Frank Parlato Jr.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo -- the man credited with turning the hospital around -- congratulated some of the people who helped him accomplish what some describe as a miraculous save of one of the city's longest-operating institutions. Memorial was established toward the end of the 19th century.

Considering that Memorial today operates in one of the poorest cities in the country and gets no dedicated public funding, yet offers a host of premier services -- a first-class emergency room, world-class cardiac care and the first designated stroke center in the area -- it is no misnomer to refer to this hospital as "the Miracle on 10th Street."

Ruffolo was quick to point out that he did not turn Memorial around singlehandedly, but has been helped immensely by dedicated staffers who he says are more like family than employees.

The hospital was losing more than $5 million per year before Ruffolo came on board in 2002. Within a few years, not only did Ruffolo bring the hospital to break-even status, but he was able to make more than $30 million in improvements to the facilities -- all without getting dedicated government support. Unlike many "safety net" hospitals in other cities, the taxpayers are not burdened with supporting Memorial.

As Ruffolo is fond of saying, "we only eat what we catch," meaning the money to support this hospital's daily expenses comes from the payment of its patients, not taxpayers.

Memorial recently honored 145 employees who celebrated milestones ranging from five to 45 years during service award ceremonies in the medical center's auditorium.



  Copyright © 2008 Frank Parlato Jr.