UB and SUNY officials to conduct community forum with Fruit Belt residents to discuss medical school project

Release Date: April 10, 2013 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. – Community stakeholders from neighborhoods surrounding the University at Buffalo’s Downtown Campus will receive an update on UB’s plans to build a new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences downtown during a community forum at 7 p.m. tonight in the Gaylord Cary Conference Room at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (across from the main hospital).

Hosted by the Orchard Community Initiative (OCI) – a recently formed “umbrella” organization of Fruit Belt community advocacy groups – the public forum is part of an ongoing effort by UB to engage the community in conversation about the medical school project, hear their concerns and questions and discuss the potential economic opportunities the new medical school will bring to the Fruit Belt, one of Buffalo’s oldest neighborhoods.

UB and SUNY Construction Fund representatives conducted a similar public forum March 21 with members of the city’s Allentown community to give stakeholders there an opportunity to share their questions and comments about the project.

Tonight’s community forum will include an introduction and welcome by Alexander Wright, executive director of Urban Christian Ministries, and Ben Cashaw, president of the Fruit Belt Coalition. Both are members of the newly formed OCI.

Laura Hubbard, UB’s vice president for finance and administration, will provide attendees with an overview of the medical school project, including timelines for construction. Hubbard will also highlight how the project will benefit the community through:

  • Job growth both during and after construction, particularly for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE). Each phase of the project has set MWBE performance goals.
  • Improving the region’s health by enhancing clinical, education and training opportunities and by improving the quality of health care delivered for the community.
  • Creating state-of-the-art health care that eliminates the need for Western New York patients to seek specialized care out of town.
  • Improving the quality of life in neighborhoods near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus by promoting home ownership in the community and by encouraging students, staff and faculty to patronize the businesses nearby.

Hubbard will also outline the process for continued community engagement.

Representatives from the State University of New York Construction Fund (SUCF) will also be on hand to answer specific questions about the project.

Media Contact Information

John Della Contrada
Vice President for University Communications
521 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: 716-645-4094 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
Twitter: UBNewsSource