• Printer Friendly Version

FEMA Approves South Nassau’s Alternative Use Application to Expand Medical Services for South Shore of Nassau County

Posted: Oct. 26, 2016
FEMA Approves South Nassau’s Alternative Use Application to Expand Medical Services for South Shore of Nassau County

Approval Paves Way for SNCH to Move Forward with Plans for its Long Beach Medical Arts Pavilion, Southwest Addition to the Hospital. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved South Nassau’s plan to improve medical services for the South Shore of Nassau County by expanding Emergency Services in Long Beach and investing FEMA funds at the hospital’s Oceanside campus to improve care for some 900,000 area residents.

The FEMA approval of South Nassau’s plan will allow the hospital to move forward and construct a permanent home for the Long Beach Emergency Department and a four-story Southwest addition in Oceanside with new surgical suites, additional intensive care beds and an expanded Emergency Department.

 “This is an investment that will benefit Long Beach, Oceanside and the entire South Shore,” said Richard J. Murphy, South Nassau’s President & CEO. “The Southwest Addition to the hospital and the Medial Arts Pavilion in Long Beach will go a long way toward addressing the South Shore’s future medical needs while restoring services that were lost as a result of Sandy and fortifying against another storm.”

“We could not have accomplished this milestone without the help of Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford and Sen. Todd Kaminsky,” said Murphy. “Our elected representatives have supported our efforts to restore services in Long Beach while looking ahead to the future to provide the very best care to the entire South Shore of Nassau County.

“We also are thankful to the New York State Department of Health and the NYS Division of Homeland Security for their support in helping us develop a plan to restore medical services to the South Shore of Nassau County,” said Murphy. “And we are grateful to the civic leaders and residents of Long Beach who have embraced the new Emergency Department on the barrier island and who have provided valuable input into our plans to expand services. Our neighbors in Oceanside also have given us important feedback and insight. We look forward to working closely with all the communities we serve as these two projects move forward.”

Joseph Fennessy, the Chairman of South Nassau’s Board of Directors, said the hospital’s trustees are fully behind the FEMA expansion projects, recognizing the unique opportunity they present to enhance patient care for decades to come.

“This is a once-in-a-generation chance to improve medical services for the entire South Shore of Nassau County,” Fennessy said. “South Nassau has become a regional medical center and this is another major step forward for the hospital and for the communities we serve.”

The FEMA funds were appropriated by Congress in 2014 after South Nassau demonstrated a commitment and sufficient financial strength to restore medical services to the South Shore following Superstorm Sandy, which forced the closing of the former Long Beach Medical Center in Long Beach.  The $171 million is the total cost of the projects, of which 90% will be covered by FEMA and the other 10% by South Nassau.
With receipt of FEMA’s letter of approval, South Nassau will now begin the process of applying for the required regulatory approvals for each project from local and state government agencies, including the City of Long Beach, Town of Hempstead and the New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation.  An environmental review and regulatory process still must be completed before construction can begin.  South Nassau estimates that each project will be completed by 2020.

“The ultimate goal of our plan is to ensure that the residents of the South Shore of Nassau County, from Long Beach and the surrounding barrier island communities to Valley Stream and Massapequa, have convenient access to a regional healthcare delivery system with top-notch physicians, leading-edge medical technologies and state-of-the-art healthcare facilities,” said Mr. Murphy.
When completed, the four-story, 58,000 square foot Southwest Addition to South Nassau will feature a new, medically advanced critical care patient unit with up to 24 new ICU beds, expanded Emergency Services Department and modernized operating rooms.

The hospital’s Emergency Department in Oceanside currently treats about 65,000 patients a year but was designed to handle 35,000. The expansion project will nearly double the Emergency Department’s square footage.    The design of the expanded Emergency Department in Oceanside also allows for separate entrances for walk-in patients and patients transported by ambulance, as well a larger ambulance docking bay to facilitate the triage of patients from ambulances to the ED.   The renovated ED also will have separate treatment areas for pediatric, geriatric and behavioral health patients.
The Southwest Addition will feature larger, state-of-the-art operating suites with the latest advancements in medical and surgical technologies and equipment. The combined impact of these features this will allow South Nassau and its staff of surgeons to increase its surgical scheduling capacity and meet the rising need for same-day, elective and emergency surgical care.

The Southwest Addition also will allow South Nassau to meet the growing demand for critical care services. While the demand for medical-surgical beds generally is decreasing, the number of patients in need of highly specialized care provided in critical care units is on the rise. South Nassau projects a need to nearly double the number of critical care beds available.  The project also includes the upgrade of the hospital’s emergency electrical system as well as the construction of a new, energy efficient central utility plant with back-up heating and air conditioning systems.

The hospital’s Oceanside campus is outside the South Shore flood zone and is considered a ‘defend-in- place’ institution that remained open during and after Sandy. The barrier island had to be evacuated during Sandy. FEMA has endorsed South Nassau’s plan to use some of the funds to further fortify the Oceanside campus’ electrical, heating and ventilation systems against future storms.

 South Nassau currently operates a free-standing Emergency Department in Long Beach as well as the Long Beach Family Medicine Center.  During its first year of operation, the Long Beach ED treated nearly 10,000 patients, 88 percent of whom were treated and released without having to leave the barrier island. Only 8.5 percent had to be admitted to the hospital in Oceanside. The hospital has proposed a $40 million, three-story Medical Arts Pavilion in Long Beach – built at the 500 year flood plain – that will serve as the permanent home of the Emergency Department.  The Pavilion will also house suites for a range of other services such as family medicine, behavioral health, dialysis, geriatric care and diagnostic imaging.
The Pavilion is to be built at the site of the former Long Beach Medical Center. Two remaining structures will be stripped down to their steel frame, re-enforced and remodeled from the ground up into an appealing, modernized medical facility designed to complement and enhance the appeal of the surrounding neighborhood.  The Pavilion will have a flexible design and construction that will enable it to be expanded to include a fourth floor if the need arises to provide additional specialty healthcare service. Three older structures that were part of the Long Beach Medical Center and that were beyond repair due to Sandy damage have already been demolished.

South Nassau has briefed more than 60 local community, civic and elected leaders about its plans for expansion. For more information about the proposed FEMA projects in Oceanside and Long Beach, go to: www.southnassau.org/fema.

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,500 employees.  Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services.  In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies.  A Level II Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons, South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons, and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program.  In addition, the hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care; and disease-specific care for hip and joint replacement, wound care and end-stage renal disease. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.