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Contact: Linda Johnson
WCA Hospital Public Relations
(716) 664-8614

Largest Campaign In WCA History Takes Major Step Forward

Sharing The Gift of Health Campaign

Click Here to view the Campaign Leadership members.

Jamestown, New York (Monday, December 14, 2009)—The largest campaign in WCA Hospital’s history took a major step forward with the appointment of Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney as the Chair of the Sharing the Gift of Health campaign. On Friday, along with Dr. Ney, WCA introduced the teams of community leaders who will head their $16.5 M capital campaign to construct and equip the hospital’s new Emergency Department, and $10 M to build endowment for the future of our community hospital.

Dr. Lillian V. Ney

“A strong and vibrant WCA Hospital is absolutely critical for our community,” explains Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney. “WCA Hospital is truly a jewel in this region’s healthcare system. It is everything an independent, not-for-profit community hospital should be: the source of quality medical care in a compassionate, patient-centered environment. We have an opportunity to transform the front door of healthcare in our community as we support this vital campaign for our new Emergency Department and the future stability of our community hospital. We need it not only for our well being, but also for our community’s economic health.”

Dr. Bert Rappole

A retired cardiologist, Dr. Ney served as the Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Affairs at WCA Hospital. During her medical career at WCA, she also held roles as Director of Cardiology, Director of Wellness, and Director of Medical Education. While serving as Director of Medical Education, she was the Acting Chautauqua County Commissioner of Health. Dr. Ney is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Medical Management, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology.

In the year following her retirement from WCA, Dr. Ney coordinated the formation of the Jamestown Area Medical Associates (JAMA) and was the first Medical Director. She was also the Medical Director for Heritage Park Rehab & Skilled Nursing.

Sharing The Gift of Health Campaign

Dr. Ney has also been an active civic leader in Jamestown serving on many boards and committees. Currently, she is the President of the Gebbie Foundation, Vice President of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, and Board member of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and the Jamestown City Center Development Corporation. She served for several years as Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission for the City of Jamestown where she currently serves as Chair of the newly formed Health Care Action Team. Dr. Ney served as a Member at Large on the Jamestown City Council from 2000-2007 (acting as President from 2004-2005) and on the Board of Public Utilities.

Brigetta Overcash

Lillian Ney is one of three daughters born to Peter and Josephine Vitanza. Because her father was a physician with a practice in Jamestown, the family grew up in and established strong ties to the community. A Jamestown High School graduate, Dr. Ney graduated from Wells College and the University of Buffalo Medical School. After completing her residency in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, she returned to Jamestown and initially established a private practice in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Lillian and her late husband, Dr. Robert Ney, also a physician, have two daughters: Aubin Ney Gren of Jamestown and the late Alison Ney, and two granddaughters: Olivia and Alexandra.

Karl Sisson

Dr. Ney has always been generous with her time and has served on the boards of many area organizations. Her past involvements include serving on the Board of Directors for the Reg Lenna Civic Center, James Prendergast Library, American Heart Association, and the United Way. Dr. Ney has received many awards recognizing her service to this community. Senator Catharine Young awarded Dr. Ney with the New York State Woman of Distinction (2008), her alma mater presented her with the Wells College Alumnae Award (1998), and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation presented her with the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award in 1999. She also received the JCC Foundation John D. Hamilton Award (1998), the Person of the Year Award from the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce (2008), and the Chautauqua Leadership Network presented her with their first annual Leadership Award (1998).

Allen Short and Peter Sullivan served as Co-Chairs of WCA’s previous capital campaign. The very successful campaign effort (over $7 M raised) allowed WCA Hospital to open its Cardiac Catherization Lab, remodel and expand its surgical facilities, and set the stage for the capital component of this campaign - the construction of a new Emergency Department (ED).

Allen Short and Peter Sullivan

This time around, both men are serving on the Campaign Advisory Team and recognize the importance of dedicated and passionate leadership. “Lillian Ney is the ideal person to lead a community campaign effort of this magnitude,” states Allen Short. “Her enthusiastic attitude is magnetic and will lend to the success of this campaign.”

Peter Sullivan adds, “Dr. Ney is so highly respected in Jamestown, I can’t imagine this community not wanting to join her in this historic effort. I look forward to working with her to further strengthen our community hospital.”

“As was the case with Allen and Peter, I am thrilled and thankful that Dr. Ney, alongside so many respected community leaders, is going to lead this vital campaign effort,” says Betsy T. Wright, President/CEO of WCA Hospital. “Our Emergency Department is the heart of our organization, but we are challenged by space constraints. We have an undeniable need for our new Emergency Department.”

Betsy T. Wright

Through proceeds from the previous capital campaign, WCA Hospital had intended on renovating the existing Emergency Department. However, what was planned became impossible. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, many things changed, including regulations for hospital Emergency Departments. Today, a hospital must be able to completely isolate its ED from the rest of its healthcare facilities in order to meet new standards for emergency preparedness, bio-terrorism, and homeland security.

The New Emergency Department

WCA Hospital’s Emergency Department provides 53% of all ED visits in Chautauqua County, and is the principal driver of inpatient volume as 77.5% of the hospital’s inpatients begin their episode of care in the ED. The ED is the main source of healthcare for a large percentage of area residents and provides much of the medical care for patients without medical insurance. It plays a key role in public health surveillance, as well as disaster preparation and response. Constructed in the 1970’s, the current Emergency Department is undersized to meet current and future demands.

New ER Nurse Station

Featuring thirty private treatment rooms, the new 18,000 square foot Emergency Department will maintain and enhance the quality of care for which WCA Hospital is nationally recognized. It will meet the present day and the increasing future volume demands of our community. Coinciding with the implementation of electronic health records, the new ED will minimize patient treatment times, decrease throughput/admission times, improve efficiency, and improve collaboration.

New ER Treatment Room

To make a gift in support WCA Hospital’s Sharing the Gift of Health campaign, please contact Karl Sisson, WCA Director of Development, at (716) 664-8423 or

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