News from May 2016

Letter to the Editor: “New York makes a bad decision declining BCH funding”

The May 21 edition of the Springville Journal has a letter to the editor from BCH Foundation board member Grover Riefler related to the decision of New York State to exclude Bertrand Chaffee Hospital from a recent round of state grant funding.

Note: The health-care system in Pennsylvania that is referenced is actually a $12 BILLION corporation, not $12 million.

Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Mercy Flight of WNY and Mercy EMS Helicopter Hangar

Mercy Flight of WNY and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital cordially invite you to a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the new Mercy Flight WNY helicopter hangar and Mercy EMS Springville Base at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. This continues the long and beneficial relationship that Mercy Flight and BCH have shared. All are welcome on Monday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the hangar behind the hospital. Please RSVP to Lynn at or (716) 626-5808 ext. 1314.

Cordelian Club Donation Supports New Inpatient Beds

Members of the Cordelian Club presented a donation for the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation at their end-of-year dinner on May 10. The Cordelian Club has designated their gift to go toward new nurse- and patient-friendly beds for the second floor. Their donation was a result of the group’s very popular annual dance, which had an 80’s theme this year. The gift was accepted by Donelle Thomas, nurse manager for the hospital’s medical floor.

Cordelian Club Dance Coordinator Amy Wnuk, BCH Nurse Manager Donelle Thomas and Cordelian Club President Tammy Stedman hold the check representing the club’s donation to the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation.

Letter to Editor Expresses Dismay over Recent NYS Funding Decision

Dr. William J. Wnuk recently sent letters to the editors of local newspapers in regard to the denial of funding for BCH through a NYS capital grant program. This letter was published and the text is provided here. Comments from patients and community members are welcome at


As a primary care physician and president of the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital medical staff, I am writing this letter to express my dismay and disbelief about a recent decision of the New York State Department of Health to deny Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s application through the Essential Health Care Provider Support Program.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s application outlined $7.6 million in projects over three years to invest in local healthcare services. This request pales in comparison to the awards given to other rural hospitals in Western New York, some with direct financial connections to Pennsylvania-based corporations. BCH asked for a fraction of what Brooks/TLC, Wyoming County Community Health System, and WCA received ($57 million, $20 million and $26 million, respectively). For BCH to receive no support through this process is blatantly unfair, if not politically obscene. Instead of assisting Bertrand Chaffee Hospital’s efforts to preserve local health services, New York state made the decision to deem BCH as non-essential, and consequently bypass the healthcare needs of this community.

For a supposedly non-political funding process, quite a few state legislators lined up to take credit when tax money funneled into their districts. It appears that my tax dollars, and your tax dollars, are supporting other communities and their hospitals.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is my hospital, and my hospital matters to me. I have a deep concern for my patients’ health, but I also have a responsibility to the public health interests of this community. We don’t need to look further than the children of Flint, Michigan to see how the failure of a state government to invest in communities can have profound health consequences.  It seems like our community is too small to matter in the funding calculations made by politicians.

New York state may have turned its back on Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, but my colleagues at my hospital will continue to honor our responsibilities to you. As a community we need to stand together and prevent our local hospital from being ignored in future investment of our state taxes.

William J. Wnuk, MD
President,Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Medical Staff

Buffalo Sabres Signed Hockey Stick Being Raffled by the BCH Women’s Association 

The BCH Women’s Association is raffling a Buffalo Sabres hockey stick autographed by #63 Tyler Ennis. Tickets are available in the BCH gift shop (10-2, weekdays) and you can look for Women’s Association volunteers out and about at some upcoming Springville events. Tickets are 1 for $1, 7 for $5, and 15 for $10. The drawing will take place on Wednesday, June 1.

May Meeting of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation Looks Ahead to Garden Party, Elects Officers

The Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Foundation met on May 2 for its quarterly meeting. As its annual meeting, the foundation board re-elected its officers: President William King of West Valley; Vice President Mary Kwiatek of Springville; Secretary David Batterson of Springville; and Treasurer Claudia Miller of Arcade. The group re-appointed four members to three-year terms: Miller, King, Dr. Jon Baker, and Jessica Sullivan. And, Brandon Frank and Kathleen Paszkiewicz were re-appointed as employee representatives from BCH and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home, respectively.

The board reviewed foundation activities from the first quarter, including the Spring It On promotion in March. Major funding this year from the foundation has gone toward imaging equipment upgrades. They received updates from Nils Gunnersen, BCH CEO, and Roger Soricelli, JBR administrator, and looked ahead to this year’s major events: the Garden Party on May 26 and the Boo Bash on October 22.

The funds raised at the Garden Party will support the replacement of the ambulatory surgery department’s anesthesia machine. That event will also honor the memories of Paul Randall, a former BCH board president and volunteer, and John Frank, a longtime BCH/JBR employee. Tickets and additional information is available by calling (716) 592-2871 ext. 1485.

National Nurses Week: May 6-12

National Nurses Week begins on May 6, and the nurses of BCH are planning a week of activities for their departments to let their nursing staff know how much they are appreciated. This includes a “thank you” station in our lobby and a baby picture contest for the nursing staff.

BCH is also inviting Dina’s of Ellicottville and its Food Truck to on Tuesday, May 10 for lunch. Selections available to purchase off the menu include the Sheila Salad,Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos, Short Rib Chili Tacos, and Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. BCH/JBR employees and the community are welcome! Look for the truck around the back of the hospital, near the MRI.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Coordinates Narcan Training for Area First Responders

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital hosted more than 100 first responders, emergency medical personnel and fire department volunteers at its quarterly EMS meeting at the Springville Fire Hall on April 25. BCH emergency department staff, representatives from Mercy Flight and Mercy EMS, and the Erie County Department of Health led a training in the use of Narcan (Naloxone).

Narcan is an opiate antidote used by EMTs, emergency departments and laypersons to counteract the potentially deadly effects of an opitate/heroin overdose.