Four Years after St. Vincent's Hospital Closure, Lenox Hill HealthPlex Restores 24/7 Care to Manhattan's West Village

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NEW YORK, July 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly 300 supporters of Lenox Hill Hospital and the North Shore-LIJ Health System today celebrated the pending opening of a major new medical complex called the Lenox Hill HealthPlex, which will be anchored by Manhattan's first freestanding Emergency Center.

Located at 30 7th Avenue between W. 12th and 13th Streets, the Lenox Hill 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. Situated in the Phyllis and William Mack Pavilion, the 160,000-square-foot HealthPlex is expected to open next week, with the debut of an Emergency Center designed, staffed and equipped to treat up to 45,000 patients annually.

A range of other comprehensive medical services will be added to the six-story building in 2015, including: ambulatory surgery, outpatient rehabilitation, imaging, health and wellness services, medical specialty practices and home care. Under construction since 2012, the historic, ship-like building – the former headquarters of the National Maritime Union -- is being redeveloped at a cost of more than $150 million.

Located across 7th Avenue from the former St. Vincent's Hospital, the HealthPlex provides a valuable community resource for West Side residents, who have been travelling out of their neighborhoods to access emergency and other medical services since the hospital's 2010 closure.

"The Lenox Hill HealthPlex fills a major void that has existed since the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital in 2010," said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which owns and operates Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital and 15 other New York area hospitals. "As the nation's healthcare system continues to evolve and more and more care is delivered outside the walls of the hospital, this facility will be regarded as a model for community-based care in Manhattan."

The HealthPlex Emergency Center, which will occupy about 28,000 square feet on the first floor of the Mack Pavilion, will serve as a receiving facility for the New York City 911 Emergency Medical System and include an advanced-life support ambulance to transport patients who need to be hospitalized, said Eric Cruzen, MD, director of emergency medicine at the HealthPlex. It includes 26 private emergency bays, including two inpatient beds. "We will have all the equipment, technology and training to treat a person of any age with any medical problem. While the overwhelming majority of patients will be able to be treated and released, those few who need admission or surgery will be treated, stabilized, and transferred to the hospital of their choice," said Dr. Cruzen.

Although the City of New York has only one other 24/7 emergency center not located on a hospital campus (Montefiore Medical Center's Westchester Square in the Bronx is the other), there are currently more than 400 freestanding Emergency Departments in the US, some of which have been open for more than 20 years.

The HealthPlex Emergency Center will employ about 150 healthcare professionals. As new programs are launched, hundreds of additional staff will be recruited, said Alex Hellinger, executive director of the HealthPlex. "The opening of this Emergency Center is just the beginning of what we anticipate will be an exciting new era of health in the West Village," he said.

The project also represents an exciting new chapter in the history of the building housing the HealthPlex. The building's architect, Albert Ledner of New Orleans, designed three buildings during that era for the National Maritime Union. Because of its architectural significance, it is protected by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. During the latest renovation, all of the building's exterior nautical features were preserved, including scalloped overhangs, a porthole façade and a rooftop bulkhead that looks like a steamship smokestack. When it opened in 1964, the building was originally named in honor of the union's founder, Joseph Curran. With the decline of the Port of New York, the Curran Building was sold in 1974 to St. Vincent's Hospital and renamed the O'Toole Medical Services Building. As it begins its next half-century, the historic building is now entering its third incarnation as the Phyllis and William Mack Pavilion -- and the home of the Lenox Hill HealthPlex.

"The downtown community had lacked a facility like the HealthPlex for over four years. It was the right time to do something that would have a positive impact and rectify this situation," said Mr. Mack, a North Shore-LIJ trustee. "Building a state-of-the-art medical complex with 24/7 care to serve this diverse and creative population was very important to us."

Mark Claster, chair of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Board of Trustees, noted, "The Macks have been personally involved with North Shore-LIJ for over 40 years. When they heard about our plans to bring quality healthcare back to the West Side, Phyllis and Bill Mack were the first ones to step up and offer their support."

Today's dedication featured a guest performance by Jessie Mueller, the 2014 Tony Award winner for her work in the Broadway musical, "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," who sang "America the Beautiful." Among the elected officials attending today's dedication were: State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, State Senator Kemp Hannon, State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Corey Johnson.

To learn more about the HealthPlex, go to: or call the HealthPlex Emergency Center at 646-665-6911.

About Lenox Hill Hospital/North Shore-LIJ Health System

The Lenox Hill HealthPlex is a division of Lenox Hill Hospital, a 652-bed, acute care hospital located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Lenox Hill is a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the North Shore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 17 hospitals and more than 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 over 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of about 48,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go to

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Barbara Osborn/212-434-2400/ Terry Lynam/516-465-2640 /

Source:North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System