Montefiore Insider - Issue 3 - January 2017

Nyack Hospital Breaks Ground On $22M Expansion

"We're building the emergency room of the future," says Steven Safyer, MD, President and CEO, Montefiore.

The first shovels have been put in the ground for Nyack Hospital’s $22 million infrastructure project.

The largest upgrade in the medical facility’s 121-year history was kicked off last month with a ceremonial groundbreaking. The project will redesign and double the size of the existing emergency department as well as create what is being called an outpatient “medical village” that will offer an alternative to traditional hospitalization.

The infrastructure project is the hospital’s first major capital project since joining the Montefiore Health System in 2014.

Steven Safyer, president and chief executive officer of Montefiore Medicine, called the existing emergency room "outdated."

“We’re building the emergency room of the future, where it’s connected to subspecialty cares, connected to all kinds of services, including mental health, that can potentially keep you out of the hospital,” Safyer said at the groundbreaking.

The hospital will construct a two-story addition and add 16,300 square feet of space, as well as renovate and reconfigure existing space that now includes the emergency department, hospital lobby, and nearby corridors.

The hospital’s emergency department — which is among the busiest in the Lower Hudson Valley at about 60,000 annual visits — will double in size to 26,000 square feet on the ground floor. The current ER was built to manage about 30,000 visits a year.

The larger emergency room will also have a separate urgent care facility, larger trauma bays, an imaging suite, and rapid assessment area.

The 7,800-square-foot medical village, which will offer outpatient services, will include primary and specialty care providers as well as community-based support services and non-emergency transportation assistance.

The project does not include any additional parking. Hospital officials previously said the expansion would not greatly increase its number of visitors, although nearby residents have raised concerns over potential increases to traffic and parking.

More than 100 people watched as about 10 hospital and Montefiore officials, as well as local politicians, donned construction helmets for the ceremony Monday inside a tent in the hospital’s parking lot off of North Midland Avenue.

The state contributed about $17.7 million to fund the project, and the remainder was contributed by hospital fundraising.

Construction will begin this month, and the project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Richard Kohlhausen, chairman of the Nyack Hospital board of trustees, said the project was expected to expand patient care but also decrease the number of overall visits to the ER.

The medical village, Kohlhausen said, will bring together service providers and community groups so that patients “don’t necessarily need to come for medical treatment just to get simple things” such as psychological and food assistance.

The project also will create a clearer, more defined entrance to the hospital, Kohlhausen said. The current entrance — a single door facing North Midland Avenue — is difficult for some patients to locate, he said.

Among the local politicians in attendance Monday were Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, Clarkstown Councilman Frank Borelli, state Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, and Rockland Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe, D-Montebello, and Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White, who called the upgrades to the hospital “revolutionary.”

“As a mayor, having a really amazing emergency room is one of the most important things you can have for your community,” she said. “As a mother with a family of five kids, it’s even more important.”

Reprinted from The Journal News, December 6, 2016