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South Nassau Plans $130 Million in Additions To Expand Emergency, Critical Care and Surgical Services at Its Oceanside Campus

Posted: Feb. 17, 2016

South Nassau Communities Hospital today announced its plan to construct a four-story, 58,000 square foot addition to the Southwest corner of the hospital that will feature a new, medically advanced critical care patient unit with up to 24 additional beds; double the size of the Emergency Services Department and modernize and expand its operating rooms.

The estimated $130 million 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 four-story addition in Oceanside also would increase the number of treatment spaces in the Emergency Department with expanded and improved waiting areas and separate treatment areas for pediatric, geriatric and behavioral patients. The new structure would house additional critical care beds to meet growing demand for critical care services and new operating suites. The new operating rooms also would allow for renovation of existing operating rooms, some of which are 40 years old and do not meet current space needs for operating suites.

“This project will allow us to meet the future needs of the communities we serve all along the South Shore of Nassau County,” said Richard J. Murphy, President and CEO. “We are seeing increased demand for emergency services as well as for critical care beds. This addition will double the size of our Emergency Department while also updating our operating suites. The addition will benefit the entire Southern tier of the county, including residents of Long Beach and the barrier island.”

South Nassau has briefed more than 60 local community, civic and elected leaders about its plans for expansion. That process will continue in the weeks ahead as hospital officials seek additional input from communities it serves along the South Shore. The proposed plans still must undergo a series of formal review procedures at the local and state levels.

Some local leaders are expressing support for the projects, which they said would benefit residents of the many communities that depend on South Nassau in an emergency, including Oceanside, Long Beach, Rockville Centre, Island Park and Freeport. Mayor Michael McGinty of Island Park called South Nassau “the finest regional hospital on the Island,” noting it is “at the forefront of service and technology” and its medical staff “is without parallel both in capability and compassion for its patients.” McGinty praised the hospital’s expansion plans. “The administration continues to expand the ability of the Hospital to deliver extraordinary care to its patient population,” he said.

Maria Heller, President of Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, praised South Nassau for investing in the Oceanside campus to meet projected future needs. “The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce embraces South Nassau’s expansion plans. We are proud to support our local hospital and its continued goals to provide exceptional care to our community,” said Heller.

The Southwest Addition project is one of the key components of the “alternative use application” that South Nassau will soon be submitting to the state as part of plans for use of $171 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds the agency agreed to allocate to South Nassau in the fall of 2014. The FEMA funds were appropriated by Congress after South Nassau demonstrated a commitment and sufficient financial strength to restore medical services to the South Shore following Superstorm Sandy that forced the closing of the former Long Beach Medical Center in Long Beach. The New York State Office of Emergency Management oversees administration of the FEMA funds.

South Nassau’s emergency department is one of the busiest in Nassau County. The department currently sees some 65,000 patients a year, but is designed to handle just 35,000 annually. Housing 35 patient treatment bays, the ED is a New York State Department of Health regional stroke center and the only Level II Trauma Center located in southern Nassau County.

The expansion project will increase the Emergency Department’s square footage from 16,000 to 30,000 square. The increase in private patient treatment bays will give the ED the capacity to accommodate in excess of 80,000 patient visits each year. The design of the expanded Emergency Department in Oceanside 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. Its waiting area will be larger with comfortable furnishings complemented by new, high definition televisions, spacious rest rooms, and Wi-Fi.

A key design element of the modernized and expanded operating rooms will be a dedicated elevator connecting it to the new critical care patient unit as well as a centrally located, larger surgical equipment sterilization unit with direct connection to the Operating Room suites, facilitating the transportation of patients as well as scheduling of surgeries. The Southwest addition will feature 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 on the south shore of Nassau County.

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 proposal for a Southwest addition in Oceanside is in addition to a planned $40 million Medical Arts Pavilion that also is being planned for Long Beach at the site of the shuttered Long Beach Medical Center. South Nassau currently operates a free-standing Emergency Department in Long Beach. The Medical Arts Pavilion would serve as the permanent home of the Long Beach Emergency Department and potentially house other services needed in the community like primary care, dialysis treatment and occupational and physical therapy. More than $30 million has already been spent in Long Beach to acquire the former Long Beach Medical Center, which was shuttered after Sandy, and to open Long Island’s first, free-standing Emergency Department on the barrier island.

“At the completion of these projects, the residents of the communities served by South Nassau will have a hospital that has been almost completely renovated – floor by floor – in recent years and that will be able to continue to attract top surgeons and clinicians to practice here,” said Murphy.

See here for information about the proposed FEMA projects in Oceanside and Long Beach.

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 3,000 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. 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. 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.