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South Nassau To Open Emergency Department In Long Beach To Serve Barrier Island Residents & Visitors

Posted: Aug. 5, 2015

Renovated Facility is Long Island’s First Free-Standing Emergency Department; Will Operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and receive ambulances via the 9-1-1 system beginning Monday

Oceanside, NY —South Nassau Communities Hospital Emergency Department at Long Beach will open Monday (8/10/15) at 9 AM after receiving final regulatory approval to restore around-the-clock emergency medical care to the residents of Long Beach and the barrier island. The opening comes more than 1,000 days after SuperStorm Sandy struck the region, forcing the closure of the former Long Beach Medical Center (LBMC).

The New York State Department of Health issued the final approvals for the facility to open earlier this week and South Nassau has been working since then to arrange staffing for around-the-clock physician and nursing coverage. As of Monday morning (8/10/15), the newly renovated facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be able to receive ambulances via the 9-1-1 system. This weekend (8/8-8/9), the facility will continue to operate as an Urgent Care Center.

South Nassau’s Emergency Department at Long Beach is Long Island’s first off-campus, hospital-based emergency department. Its opening fulfills a promise made by the Board of Directors and administration of South Nassau Communities Hospital (SNCH) after it acquired the assets of LBMC to re-establish 9-1-1-ambulance receiving emergency medical services for the residents of the barrier island.

“This brand new emergency department includes the latest diagnostic equipment and will be staffed by South Nassau trained emergency department physicians and nurses,” said Richard J. Murphy, president and CEO of South Nassau. “It will offer residents and visitors to the barrier island convenient and high quality emergency medical care. We appreciate the support we have received from the Long Beach community and from our elected officials, including Sen. Schumer, Congresswoman Rice, Assemblyman Kaminsky, Legislator Ford, Sen. Skelos and the Long Beach City Council.”

South Nassau had planned to begin operating the Emergency Department at Long Beach beginning on July 1 and completed an $8 million renovation of the facility on time. But federal and state regulatory issues prevented the July 1st opening. The last of the regulatory approvals was recently obtained, clearing the way for the opening of the Emergency Department, located at 325 E. Bay Drive. The facility will immediately begin receiving ambulances from across the barrier island. The facility opens less than a year after South Nassau closed on the purchase of LBMC’s assets on October 15, 2014. South Nassau has operated an Urgent Care Center at the same location since July of last year.

The extensive renovation of the Urgent Care Center to an Emergency Department took a little more than eight weeks to accomplish. Murphy praised the efforts of South Nassau’s facilities team as well as the medical staff who worked cooperatively to transform the facility, meeting dozens of state and federal requirements needed to operate an Emergency Department.

“At any hour, day or night, this emergency department will be ready to stabilize medical emergencies,” said Joshua Kugler, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, chair of the department of emergency medicine at South Nassau. “It is equipped with leading emergency medical technology and an experienced staff of board-certified emergency medicine physicians as well as registered nurses with advanced training in emergency medicine. We have been working closely with the EMS community across the barrier island to insure that there is good coordination between those in the field and our Emergency Department both in Long Beach and in Oceanside.”

The renovated facility has received high marks from all those who have toured it, including from the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, local elected officials and civic groups.

“Following the devastation of SuperStorm Sandy, one of my top priorities has been to return emergency medical services to the Long Beach Barrier Island,” said Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky. “I worked closely with the New York State Department of Health to ensure that they issued the final approval on the facility and the laboratory as quickly as possible, thereby clearing the way for it to reopen. Now, after a lot of hard work alongside neighbors and community members, a state-of-the-art, 24/7, 9/11-receiving emergency room is finally open to service the Barrier Island’s medical needs. This will be a state of the art emergency room that we can be proud of,” added Kaminsky. “I want to thank the Department of Health and South Nassau Communities Hospital for being supportive partners throughout this process.”

“This was truly a collaborative effort, and I’m proud to have helped cut through the red tape and get this facility up and running during Long Beach’s busy summer season,” said Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. “When the emergency department’s doors open, Long Beach residents will be safer and this community will be one step closer to fully recovering from SuperStorm Sandy. I’ll keep working with federal regulators to make sure this facility stays open and residents can continue to count on access to critical 24-hour emergency care.”

“I am thrilled with recent approvals that will finally allow a free-standing, ambulance-receiving emergency department to open on the barrier island,” said Senator Dean G. Skelos. “I look forward to continuing to work hard to ensure that my constituents have access to high quality healthcare services. For residents of Long Beach and the surrounding communities this announcement signifies a major step toward achieving that goal.”

"The City Council has been aggressively advocating since the Storm to restore a 24-hour, 911-receiving emergency department in Long Beach, and we are thrilled that thanks to the hard work of Assemblyman Kaminsky, Congresswoman Rice, and Senator Schumer the red tape at the state and federal levels has cleared," said City Council President Len Torres. "Our recent emergency services restructuring has brought on additional paramedic-run ambulances, giving us greater emergency medical protection than ever before, and when emergencies occur, we can all feel safer in knowing that this new facility exists on our barrier island."

The Long Beach Emergency Department has six private treatment rooms, including an observation unit with three beds where patients can be held for up to 23 hours, a special room for infectious disease cases, a medical laboratory, a triage area, a behavioral treatment area, a decontamination room, a trauma room and advanced medical imaging department that includes an X-ray machine and a 64-slice CT scanner, which is the only operational CT scanner of any type in Long Beach and on the barrier island. The 6,300-square-foot facility has the capability to surge to meet increases in volume if needed. South Nassau also has ambulances stationed at the Long Beach facility, ready to transport patients to its main campus in Oceanside as the need arises.

The Emergency Department at Long Beach replaces South Nassau Urgent Care Center (SNUCC), occupying the same address: 325 East Bay Dr., adjacent to the Komanoff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center. As per existing New York State Department of Health protocol, all acute strokes, heart attacks and trauma patients transported by the 9-1-1 Emergency Medical System will by-pass the Long Beach Emergency Department and be brought to the appropriate state-designated hospital. Patients treated and stabilized at the Emergency Department who require hospital admission or advanced levels of treatment will be transferred by on-site ambulance service to South Nassau or the appropriate hospital. South Nassau, which services some 900,000 residents of the South Shore, from Queens to Suffolk County, is a Level II trauma center and advanced cardiac center.

South Nassau’s efforts to establish the emergency department began in March 2015, when it submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) to the New York State Department of Health to upgrade the Urgent Care Center to an off-campus, hospital-based emergency services department.

The $8 million cost of the renovation is in addition to the $5 million South Nassau invested to build the Urgent Care Center. In order to meet state requirements for certification as an off-campus, hospital emergency department, the facility required significant upgrades including (but not limited to) a 600-square foot expansion to include the observation suite as well as an emergency generator, wider corridors and a new ventilation system. In its 13 months of service to the residents of Long Beach and the barrier island, the Urgent Care Center treated more than 3,000 patients.

The Emergency Department at Long Beach is a continuation of South Nassau’s commitment to establish a healthcare delivery system that meets the healthcare needs of the residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities.

In May, South Nassau established a partnership with the City of Long Beach to augment the City’s existing ambulance fleet by providing secondary backup for 9-1-1- ambulance calls. Under the agreement, South Nassau ambulances stationed at the Long Beach facility have been responding when needed as backup for 9-1-1 calls. South Nassau ambulances are staffed by paramedics who are able to communicate with physicians trained in emergency medicine to ensure proper treatment on the scene or while a patient is en route to the appropriate medical facility.

The agreement was preceded by South Nassau’s announcement in March to build a two-story, 30,000 square-feet Medical Arts Pavilion on the site of the former LBMC. In addition to serving as the future home of the emergency department, the facility could house suites for family medicine, behavioral health, ambulatory surgery, sports medicine and physical rehabilitation, dialysis and other medical services needed by residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities.

South Nassau has commissioned a study – based on discharge and other data – to determine which services are most needed on the barrier island in the wake of SuperStorm Sandy. The study is ongoing and includes outreach to the barrier island communities and civic leaders. The projected cost of the Medical Arts Pavilion is $30 million and will represent another major investment by South Nassau in Long Beach.

South Nassau® Communities Hospital is a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Quality Achievement Award as well as the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation Get With The Guidelines®–Heart Failure Silver-Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,000 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. 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.