Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

October 16, 2013

ROOT: W.N.Y. will get better, believe it!

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Western New Yorkers’ predisposition to be negative is starting to get out of control.

I was reading Facebook today and one of the news outlets announced that the University at Buffalo is finally ready to break ground on its $325 million medical complex that the school has been talking about for years.

Just so everyone understands, this is an incredibly good thing for Western New York. We already have nationally recognized medical facilities in Women & Children’s Hospital and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and UB is really starting to assert itself in the medical research and training industry. If this keeps up, the people of Western New York will literally enjoy (as the sign on MASH said) the best care anywhere.

Now, I understand that there are a few empty hospital buildings in the downtown Buffalo area. But that has nothing to do with UB. It is also not an indication of the direction in which our local healthcare industry is headed. Metropolitan Buffalo is rapidly becoming a hub for significant medical research and treatment in the United States. There are even some parts of our medical community that are becoming world-famous.

Our medical community is something that we should take great pride in. It is a beacon of hope in an otherwise dismal economic picture, promising to bring jobs, recognition and prestige to our area. It is an accomplishment that every person who lives in this part of the world should be proud of.

That is why the first run of comments on this particular news story was so depressing. Off the top, someone insisted that building a medical campus is useless because Obamacare is destined to eliminate the healthcare industry completely. It wasn’t put exactly in those words, but honestly, I cannot dumb down my writing enough to better paraphrase what was said.

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