NEW YORK, March 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The North Shore-LIJ Health System today announced that its new comprehensive care center now under construction in Greenwich Village will be called "Lenox Hill HealthPlex." Located at 7th Avenue between W. 12th and 13th Streets, the HealthPlex represents a new model of community based care that integrates health and wellness services with seamless access to 24-hour emergency care and a full range of medical specialists.
The first phase of the more than $150 million project opens in late June, with the debut of Manhattan's first freestanding emergency center that will provide patients with around-the-clock access to board-certified emergency physicians, specialty trained nurses, specialist consultations and other health care professionals.
Future plans for Lenox Hill HealthPlex include: imaging services, an ambulatory surgery suite, outpatient rehabilitation, health and wellness services, medical specialty practices, home care and other programs designed to meet the current and future needs of the community.
"In the shadows of buildings that housed St. Vincent's Hospital for 160 years, Lenox Hill HealthPlex represents the dawning of a new era of health care for West Side residents, who have had to travel out of their neighborhoods to access emergency and other critical health care services for the past four years," said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which has 16 hospitals across the metropolitan area, including Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in Manhattan.
The HealthPlex Emergency Center, which will occupy the first floor of the six-story building, is designed, staffed and equipped to accommodate up to 45,000 emergency visits annually, according to John D'Angelo, MD, senior vice president of emergency medicine at North Shore-LIJ. It will serve as a receiving facility for the New York City 911 Emergency Medical System, have 24/7 access to lab services and advanced radiology, and include an ambulance to transport patients who need to be hospitalized. "The advanced life support capabilities at the facility will enable local residents to receive emergency care at their most critical time of need," Dr. D'Angelo said. Among other areas of expertise, the HealthPlex will also include sexual assault nurse examiners who have received special training to perform sexual assault evidentiary exams for rape victims.
The emergency center anchoring this neighborhood medical complex is based on a successful model for emergency care being implemented across the country. "The approach is designed to reduce waiting times and enhance customer convenience for emergency care that is efficient, accessible and linked to a continuum of care available to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay," Dr. D'Angelo said.
To ensure success, Lenox Hill HealthPlex is drawing on the collective knowledge of North Shore-LIJ's 200 emergency physicians, more than 300 paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and approximately 2,000 ED staff, who have gained their experience operating 14 EDs that treated nearly 665,000 people and transported more than 102,000 patients in 2013. "Even though the HealthPlex will not open until June, we are already hiring nursing staff, who will undergo intensive training in the coming months," said Carleigh Gustafson, RN, the health system' vice president of emergency services and a long-time Lenox Hill nurse.
The HealthPlex is housed in the historic National Maritime Union Building, which was known for the past four decades as the O'Toole Building. North Shore-LIJ is investing more than $150 million to redevelop the interior of the 50-year-old ship-like building, while maintaining all of the exterior nautical features designed by New Orleans' architect Albert C. Ledner, including scalloped overhangs, a porthole façade and a rooftop bulkhead that looks like a steamship smokestack. "We took great pains to respect the architecture of this landmarked building, recognizing the distinctive character of the West Village," said John Gupta, executive director of the Lenox Hill HealthPlex. "In addition to filling a health care void on the West Side, this new medical complex will bring hundreds of new jobs to the neighborhood, helping to revitalize small businesses."
Among its many close ties to local organizations, Lenox Hill HealthPlex has created a partnership with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center. In 2013, Lenox Hill Hospital was recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country's largest LGBT organization. Also in 2013, Lenox Hill donated $100,000 to the New York City AIDS Memorial that will be erected in St. Vincent's Hospital Park, located in the triangle across from the HealthPlex at the intersections of 7th Avenue, W. 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue.
As part of a new model of care that North Shore-LIJ is developing for the communities it serves across the metropolitan area, the HealthPlex's vast emergency capabilities will be complemented by imaging services, surgery, rehabilitation, health/wellness, home care and other comprehensive medical programs that will be rolled out in future years.
About North Shore-LIJ Health System
One of the nation's largest healthcare systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ's owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 47,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.
CONTACT: Barbara Osborn (212) 434-2400
Source:North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System