New Aquarium Event: Octopus Day on October 8th


Octopus Day on October 8th is a perfect opportunity to explore all the new wonders at the Aquarium and to learn more about the amazing octopus. At 12:45 there will be a never-seen before live Octopus demonstration where guests will be able to ask questions and see how smart these animals are. Before and after the demonstration there will be a special Octopus crafts hour.

“October 8th is World Octopus Day, “said Marketing Coordinator, Anna Kate Beigel “and we wanted to take this opportunity to share how truly amazing these animals are. Like us, octopus have two eyes and are extremely intelligent but there the similarities end. These animals have four pairs of arms and no internal or external skeleton.  Our Octopus, Prince, loves playing with toys and guests will be thrilled to learn more about these fascinating animals.”

For more information, contact Ilene Strober at 716-286-9381 or

Crucial Drug Discount Program at Risk [by Joseph A. Ruffolo]

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is a safety-net facility. That means we treat all sick people regardless of their ability to pay. Many of our patients are on Medicaid, Medicare or lack health insurance altogether. A little-known federal statute called the 340B drug discount program helps us care for the neediest in our community.

Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, the program requires drug companies to sell discounted medications to healthcare providers that serve high numbers of low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients or are located in remote rural areas. These safety-net hospitals pass the discounts on to needy patients and also use savings from the program to fund cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and primary care clinics that help the underserved.

Unfortunately, this critically important program is at risk. In recent years, pharmaceutical manufacturers have become less willing to share their profits to help those in need, and now they want to scale back the 340B program in Washington by limiting hospital and patient eligibility. They’ve taken this position even though 340B drugs amount to just 2 percent of the $457 billion annual U.S. pharmaceutical market.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will save approximately $400,000 this year thanks to the program. In order to serve all who walk in our door, we provide $2 million per year in charity and uncompensated care. The program has also helped us fund the Wellness Connection Center behavioral health program and offsets the cost of our dedicated psychiatric emergency department.

Treating patients with limited or no financial means is enormously expensive. Hospitals in the 340B program serve nearly twice as many needy patients as other providers. They also supply nearly 60 percent of all uncompensated care.

It’s important to understand that 340B is not taxpayer funded – instead it requires very profitable drug companies to give a discount to health care providers that serve our most vulnerable citizens. Simply put, these companies can afford to help. If the program were significantly reduced or eliminated, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center would be forced to cut back drug access and clinical care to the needy.

Our community deserves better. Please reach out to your local member of Congress and U.S. senator today to express the need for the continuation of the 340B program.

Guest submission
By Joseph A. Ruffolo, President & CEO
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Niagara LaSalle Lodge’s 5th Annual Motorcycle Dice Run and Car Show

The Niagara LaSalle Lodge #132 F.&A.M. held their Annual Motorcycle Dice Run and Classic Car Show this past Saturday, raising money for charity and having a great time doing so!

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and happenings by visiting

Read the Niagara Gazette article detailing the day’s events:


Aspire Hosts 13th Annual Art and Wine Celebration

Enjoy Art, Brews, Wine, and Fare while experiencing one-of-a-kind artwork on Friday, September 9th

Getzville, NY – Aspire of WNY is hosting the 13th Annual Art and Wine Celebration to support their iXpress Program, an expressive arts program for people with a full range of disabilities.  Presented by KeyBank, the Art and Wine Celebration is held annually to honor and support the amazing group of extraordinary artists whose talent is inspired by their personal life experiences.  Attendees of Aspire’s premier fundraising event will experience the live music of Universal Mind, as well as select beer, wine and food tastings.

Also, there will be a basket raffle and an exciting live auction of carefully selected works of art produced by several of the iXpress artists.  Other artistic creations from the iXpress art store will be available for purchase.  All proceeds from this unique event directly support the iXpress Program in Western New York and the Southern Tier.

The event is being held on September 9, 2016, from 5 pm to 9 pm at Aspire’s Administrative and Day Habilitation Offices at 2356 N Forest Road in Getzville.

For more information, call Amanda Rosenberg, Special Events Coordinator at (716) 505-5514 or

Aspire of WNY has been a leader in providing innovative, person-centered programs and services for children and adults with developmental and other disabilities for nearly 70 years.  Visit  or call (716) 505-5830 to learn more about our personalized assistance empowering individuals to achieve their full potential and live as independently as possible.


Steinjan family car show raises $6,700 for new Memorial Cardiac/Stroke Care unit

The family of a Niagara Falls man who was a patient at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center donated $6,700 in proceeds from a successful car show they held to support the hospital’s new cardiac and stroke care unit.


The Robert O. Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show, which was held in July on the grounds of Hoover’s Dairy in Sanborn, attracted well over 100 cars and several hundred attendees.  The family has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 and will hold the car show annually until their goal is realized.


Robert O. Steinjan Sr., who died in July 2015 at the age of 76, had chronic heart disease and was treated at Memorial after suffering both a stroke and a heart attack.


“Each time the staff there took great care of him,” said his son, William Steinjan. “Please plan on joining us in July 2017 at Hoover’s Dairy for the second running of the Robert O. Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show. We plan on making it even bigger and better.”


“We are overwhelmed with the generosity of the Steinjan family. Their tireless efforts not only raised significant dollars towards our goal but, as importantly, raised awareness of the quality cardiac care offered at Memorial Medical Center,” said Vice President for Foundation & Community Relations Judi Nolan Powell.

Steinjan Family presentation

On hand for the presentation of this year’s donation were, from left: Terri Steinjan, Dr. Zubair Shaikh, Nurse Practitioner Alicia Scott, Diane (Steinjan) Narkiewicz, Melissa Rackmil, RN, Betty Steinjan, Robert Steinjan Jr., Robert Steinjan III, William Steinjan, Janet Kundl, RN, Dr. Sachin Wadhawan and Nurse Practitioner Susan Delong.

Memorial names Quarantello director of Health Information Management

Quarantello, Cheryl 2016Cheryl Quarantello, RHIA, CHPS, CSS has been appointed director of Health Information Management at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.


A graduate of Niagara County Community College and Daemen College, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Record Administration, Quarantello most recently served as a coding specialist in the Health Information Management Department at Kaleida Health where she specialized in diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular outpatient coding.


Quarantello is an adjunct instructor of health information technology at Trocaire College and a member of the American Health Information Management Association.  She holds credentials as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and Certified Coding Specialist (CSS) and is Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS).


Aspire Health Center Expands Community-based Practice

For more than 25 years, Aspire has operated a clinical facility, at 7 Community Drive in Cheektowaga, dedicated to providing premier care for the special needs community from Erie and Niagara Counties. In 2015, plans that were years in the making culminated in several significant changes and also recognition for the quality of care being provided. The Health Center expanded the Primary Care Team with the additions of Dr. Elizabeth O’Neill and Dr. Anees Ahmad. With the additional staff, the Health Center now provides clinical services to the Western New York community-at-large in addition to those with special needs. The new clinical focus allows any patient, age 18 and older to visit the Health Center for a full-range of medical services, including Primary Care, Behavioral and Mental Health, Rehabilitation Therapies (PT, OT, and Speech), Podiatry, and Nutrition.

To support the clinical expansion, an extensive renovation and upgrade project was recently completed, making the Aspire Health Center bigger and brighter than ever. Newly designed spaces are bathed in soft colors and strike the necessary balance of comfort and privacy, and even features Wi-Fi connectivity. One familiar face at the Health Center, Paris Adams, has been a patient for the past 16 years and is thrilled with the changes. “Years ago, when I first enrolled at the Health Center, it was a very small space,” Paris explains. “Now, they have a big waiting room, and everything is very nice. I enjoy seeing Miss Hollie (Hollie Bojarski, ANP-C), she is very knowledgeable and takes good care of me.”

Paris works as an Office Assistant in a law office in downtown Buffalo and appreciates how quickly he gets in to see the staff at the Health Center. “I give the clinic an A+ for waiting time,” he says. “I never wait too long and once I get checked, I can go right back to work!”

In addition to expanding the clinical focus, the Aspire Health Center was recognized recently by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). To earn PCMH recognition, the Aspire Health Center was measured against a stringent set of national standards and demonstrated that they are using evidence-based, patient-centered processes focusing on coordinated care and collaborative patient relationships. PCMH Medical Homes are recognized as the “gold standard” in the quality of care and patient experiences of care.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “This recognition shows that Aspire Health Center has the tools, systems, and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”

The PCMH recognition is good for the next three years after which the Health Center will reapply under the latest quality standards at the time of their application.

“We can offer the community a staff of experienced providers who engage and support patients throughout the continuum of care,” explained Honor Martin, Aspire VP of Clinical Services. “Our Health Center tagline is Engage, Nurture, Thrive. It is more than a group of words to us; it is our mandate for the care we provide for every patient we serve.”

To schedule an appointment or to learn more about Aspire Health Center offerings, including nutrition plans to help you with your weight and healthy eating goals, call today at 716-505-5630. Some same day and urgent care appointments are available.

Annual Celebrity Bartending fundraiser at the Brickyard Pub & BBQ to benefit Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara

Brickyard Pub & BBQ, 432 Center Street in Lewiston, is hosting Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara’s Annual Celebrity Bartending Night on Thursday, August 18th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event will benefit the more than 600 individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities the Agency serves.

This year’s event sponsors include: Mr. & Mrs. C. Anthony Frieri, Tedesco Construction Services, Inc., Capital Management Group, DuBois Physical Therapy, Advanced Design Group, National Maintenance Contracting Corp., Town of Niagara Professional Business Association (TNBPA), Strenkoski Brothers Construction.

On hand to serve up beverages as celebrity bartenders are former Buffalo Sabre, Andrew Peters; Kevin LoVullo, WGRZ-TV Channel 2’s Spiel the Wine; First Niagara Bank’s Annette Tomlin; Jeff Tedesco from Tedesco Construction Services, Inc.; Jason Cafarella from the Niagara Falls Fire Department; David Karwick from Key Investment Services; Marc Mazur from DuBois Physical Therapy, and Sam Lehr from National Maintenance Contracting Corp.

Entertainment will be provided by The Joe Webber Duo.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling Cindy Hyde at 297-6400, Ext. 335, online at, or at the door the day of the event. Price includes admission, entertainment and buffet. There will also be a basket auction and other special drawings attendees can participate in during the evening.

Photo caption: Program Participant Angela Castillo and Adam Benigni from WGRZ-TV Channel 2 enjoying the festivities at last year’s event.

Robert Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show will benefit new Memorial Cardiac/Stroke Care unit

The family of a Niagara Falls man who was a patient at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is giving back in a big way by holding a benefit car show to raise money for the hospital’s new cardiac and stroke care unit.

The Robert O. Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show will take place July 16 on the grounds of Hoover’s Dairy, 6035 Ward Road in Sanborn. An estimated 200 vintage automobiles are expected to be on display at the event.

“The idea came to me after my dad had passed,” said event organizer William Steinjan. “He was always into classic cars, NASCAR, drag cars, anything motorized really. So when I pitched the idea to my family they were more than happy to hop on and help me.”

Steinjan said his dad, who died in July 2015 at the age of 76, had chronic heart disease and was treated at Memorial after suffering both a stroke and a heart attack.

“They did what they could for him to extend his time with us for as long as he could be here. He was in and out of the hospital four times in the months before his passing. And each time the staff there took great care of him,” Steinjan said. “So if we as a family can do something to give back to the people who helped us out in our last times with him and do something in his name, why not?”

His dad was a “no frills kind of guy” who never liked to be the center of attention, Steinjan said.

“I’m sure he is looking down at us and saying the idea is a great one but the use of his name is unnecessary. But, for one day in his honor we will make his name the center of attention for a great cause,” Steinjan said. “If things kick off and turn out to be great we might run with this for a few more years.”

“It means a lot to us when patients and their family members express their appreciation for the care we’ve given them,” said Judi Nolan Powell, Memorial’s vice president for Foundation & Community Relations. “The Steinjan family has taken their expression of gratitude to a whole new level. Their generosity of spirit in putting together this wonderful event will benefit Memorial’s heart and stroke patients in a very meaningful way. I’m sure their dad would be very proud of them.”

Car registration for Robert Steinjan Sr. Memorial Car Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the day of the event. The event itself will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to classic cars on display, the show will feature sponsors’ plaques, stock cars from Ransomville Speedway, face painting for kids by a local Girl Scout troop, music, food, a basket raffle, 50/50 drawing, and animals from the Wild Kritters of Niagara County sanctuary.

Head Nurse Janet Kundl and other staff members from Memorial’s heart and stroke care unit have been hard at work creating baskets to raffle off and will volunteer their services for the event.

“Summer In Your City” Schedule Announced

Family-friendly Events Hosted by the City of Niagara Falls
The City of Niagara Falls is hosting and promoting community events throughout the months of July and August. The “Summer In Your City” Series features outdoor events within the city’s parks and waterways. “This local series provides family-friendly activities in our neighborhoods, and will get the community together in our public parks,” stated Seth Piccirillo, Director of Community Development. Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Andy Touma added, “We hope our local families have a safe summer and enjoy all the events that the City of Niagara Falls has to offer.”“Summer In Your City” features four free, outdoor movie nights with concessions and bounce houses for the children, a free kayak tour and water bike rentals at Hyde Park, and promotes existing summer events including Buffalo Niagara River Keeper kayak tours at Griffon and Hyde Parks, the Niagara Falls Youth Bureau’s Annual KaBoom! Day at Liberty Park, the Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative’s Pop-Up Park NF! Events, the city’s second annual PLAY BALL events, in association with Major League Baseball and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the Niagara Falls Youth Bureau’s full schedule of summer events within the park system. “There will be fun filled events in every corner of the Niagara Falls community, directed at the people who matter the most, our citizens,” said Niagara Falls City Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti. The City of Niagara Falls is excited to include the openings at four public park facilities scheduled to be completed in 2016. Play days at the NF Skate Park, new Hyde Park Playground, Center Court Park and 70th Street Park will be part of the “Summer in Your City” series.  Dates will be scheduled based on the completion of construction.  In addition to providing family-friendly events, this series highlights the city’s significant investment in our parks and public spaces. Since 2011, 20 park improvements have been completed, with seven more improvement projects planned for 2016. All of these projects are consistent with the adopted Niagara Falls Parks Master Plan.  

The “Summer In Your City” series is paid for with tourism fund dollars, as opposed to the property tax revenue or casino funds, turning the city’s growing tourism industry into an engine for quality of life improvements that benefit local families, building on the success of the outdoor moving night hosted at Hyde Park in August 2015. A full listing of the events is attached.