September 01, 2013


 Proposed New York veterinary project nixed


Plans to create a proposed veterinary teaching hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., have come to a halt.

Nonprofit health care provider Kaleida Health announced in August 2012 that it had selected local real estate developer Chason Affinity’s $65 million proposal to create a veterinary school at the site of one of the provider’s hospitals— Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital—that closed in March that year. Kaleida offered a $1 million prize for the winning proposal.

But on July 12, the health care provider announced in a press release it would reissue a request for proposals to determine interest from others in developing the nearly 10-acre site.

The move comes after a year of negotiations between Chason Affinity and Devry Inc., a private, for-profit educational organization that operates the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies, according to the release.

A July 12 article in The Buffalo News said the plan evolved into creating a veterinary teaching hospital for Ross, which would have consolidated small animal clinical training for fourth-year students, instead of having students spend a year obtaining clinical experience at one of the U.S. veterinary colleges with which Ross has contracts. Obtaining experience with large animals would still have required the students to attend other campuses.

Chason was also attempting to partner with Medaille College’s veterinary technology program and The SPCA Serving Erie County to open a small animal hospital at the former Gates campus, to create additional educational and training opportunities for students and veterinarians.

The news article quoted a statement from Chason Affinity that said the company worked diligently to advance its veterinary school proposal and was disappointed by Kaleida’s decision to end the agreement after Ross backed out. The company said it is working on another project related to the veterinary field and would explore prospects for it elsewhere in Buffalo.