Canisius Partners With Catholic Health

March 13, 2019

Catholic Health and Canisius College entered into a unique partnership that will bring several innovative collaborations to campus. 

Catholic Health will lease and renovate 20,000 sq. ft. on the third floor of the college's Science Hall as part of a major and transformational technology project they are undertaking.

Catholic Health is making the largest investment in the history of the health system, dedicating more than $100 million in state-of-the-art technology that will connect its hospitals, laboratories, clinician offices and health centers with patients throughout the community. With Catholic Health’s large network, this transformational investment marks a major milestone in a healing ministry that dates back more than 165 years.

To create a technology center to build and test the new system-wide Epic Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, Catholic Health will locate its 150-member EHR implementation team in Science Hall. One of Catholic Health’s goals is to create a talent pipeline between the college and the health system to give students real-world experiences that they can put into practice within the health system.  

The partnership will create internships and mentoring opportunities for students who will be future leaders in IT, data analytics, finance, health care and a host of disciplines that interface with this EHR technology, as well as innovative collaborations among students and professionals throughout the campus. "We are proud to host this important initiative on the Canisius College campus," said President John J. Hurley.

Over the next 18 months, Catholic Health will transition to Epic, the most widely-used and comprehensive health record system in the country. Epic is used by a majority of U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked hospitals and medical schools who are working collaboratively every day to improve patient care, innovate healthcare delivery and achieve financial health. More than half of Americans receive care at a healthcare organization that uses Epic.

According to Catholic Health CEO Mark Sullivan '92, MBA '96, "when Catholic Health looked at space in the community to house the implementation team, the synergies between Catholic Health and Canisius College were many, especially the alignment of our missions. The ability to have an open floor plan in an academic environment conducive to learning, is the perfect setting for a project of this kind."

Catholic Health is going to renovate the space in Science Hall at its expense and will lease the space for an initial term of three years with some limited options for renewal.  When the project is completed, the space will be turned back to the college. The renovation is expected to begin shortly and the space occupied by June of this year.

"This is an exciting collaboration that presents many possibilities for Canisius," said President Hurley. "Catholic Health is very interested in working with faculty and students in our data analytics, computer science and mathematics and statistics programs.  They will have access to world class professionals in this emerging field.  We look forward to developing internship and faculty and curriculum development opportunities with Catholic Health."

The partnership with Catholic Health will not disrupt the college's plans for the development of the third floor of Science Hall as the future home of its chemistry and biochemistry programs (Biology and ABEC programs are slotted for the second floor). The plans included about 20,000 sq. ft. of space to be reserved for future development, and will allow the college to develop it now and put it into immediate use. 

"I expect that this collaboration will add to the excitement and vitality of Science Hall and help propel us toward our ultimate vision for the building as a home for all of our science programs," added Hurley. "Within the next few months, we expect to complete the construction of the facilities for our planned Physician’s Assistant program on the lower level and we hope that we will be admitting our first class in that program in January 2020."