The Golisano Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation Center is expected to open in 2014 in renovated and expanded space at the Greece hospital.

Ten years ago, Dr. Mary L. Dombovy could help a patient work around the after-effects of stroke.


Soon enough, health-care professionals will be able to go beyond simply working around the problem, but to offer the thousands of patients treated at Unity for strokes and other brain injuries better access to new therapies to repair the brain, said Dombovy, who is chairperson of the hospital’s department of rehabilitation and neurology.


A $10 million gift from billionaire Paychex founder B. Thomas Golisano announced Thursday will be used toward the establishment of the Golisano Restorative Neurology and Rehabilitation Center in renovated and expanded space at Unity Hospital.

The center is part of a $159 million hospital expansion expected to be completed by 2014.


The expansion would create a fourth floor and add 35 private beds, with the capacity to add more rooms in the future.


The Acute Rehabilitation and Brain Injury Unit will be relocated from Unity’s St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester to the renovated Greece hospital.


“The facility is designed with the future in mind,” Dombovy said.


Golisano’s gift is a major step toward raising the $20 million necessary for the new center, said Warren Hern, president and CEO of Unity Health System.


“To have received that kind of gift is absolutely amazing,” Hern said Thursday at an announcement before Unity employees and media at the Italian American Community Center in Gates.


Golisano did not attend the announcement, but he reviewed not only the project, but the organization from the top down before making the donation, said Ann M. Costello, director of the Golisano Foundation.

Costello added that when you think of brain injury and stroke rehabilitation in Rochester, Unity comes to mind. The intent is to make this a regional center enabling patients and their families to receive care locally.


“It started at St. Mary’s,” Costello said.


Hern said Golisano’s gift is the largest received by Unity, and makes raising more money for the center that much easier, he said.


“Without this gift, it would have been difficult to achieve those goals,” Hern said.