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South Nassau to Hold Public Information Sessions on FEMA Projects in Long Beach and Oceanside

Effort to Improve Health Care on South Shore Advances with Filing of Building Department Applications

Posted: Jul. 7, 2017
South Nassau to Hold Public Information Sessions on FEMA Projects in Long Beach and Oceanside

South Nassau will hold four public information sessions in July to preview its proposed plans to improve health care for the South Shore of Nassau County. Hospital experts, including physicians and nurses, will be available at the sessions to answer residents’ questions about the projects, which includes a permanent home for an expanded Long Beach Emergency Department and a four-story Southwest addition at the Oceanside campus.

The information sessions are to be held:

  • Tue., July 11, 2-4pm – South Nassau Communities Hospital Conference Center, One Healthy Way, Oceanside
  • Thur., July 13, 5-8pm – South Nassau Communities Hospital Conference Center, One Healthy Way, Oceanside
  • Wed., July 19, 6-9pm – Long Beach Library, 111 West Park Ave., Long Beach
  • Tue., July 25, 2-4pm – Long Beach Library, 111 West Park Ave., Long Beach

South Nassau Communities Hospital submitted building department applications and environmental assessment forms (EAF) to the Town of Hempstead and the City of Long Beach to commence the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process for the proposed expansion projects. The projects include a Medical Arts Pavilion in Long Beach on the site of the shuttered Long Beach Medical Center that will include an expanded Emergency Department, Primary Care, Radiology services and room for a variety of medical subspecialists to hold office hours, including for Women’s and Children’s Health services. The proposed four-story Southwest Addition in Oceanside will include an expanded Emergency Department, new critical care beds and new operating suites.

A three-story parking structure and new central utility and emergency electrical plant also are proposed for Oceanside to alleviate neighborhood parking issues and to harden South Nassau’s main campus against future storms.

The state environmental review process is a mandatory review of the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed projects, which are being underwritten with a combination of FEMA and hospital funds.  The process emphasizes the importance of protecting the environment and maintaining natural resources.  New York State law requires completion of the review process before any other permits can be issued to approve the proposed use of a property and authorize construction.  South Nassau also is formally notifying nearly 50 involved or interested parties about the proposed projects, including federal, state and local agencies and officials, police and fire departments, school districts and utilities. The review process is expected to take at least 18 months to complete.

“These projects represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve health care for the South Shore of Nassau County for decades to come,” said Richard J. Murphy, South Nassau’s President & CEO.  “When completed, the combined result of our plan will be a delivery system of primary, acute and specialized healthcare services that is uniquely tailored to the meet the healthcare needs of the diverse communities we serve.”

South Nassau’s proposed use of FEMA funds in Oceanside and Long Beach has gained support from a number of prominent elected officials and civic leaders. Nassau County Legislator and Long Beach resident Denise Ford said, “I am fully committed to South Nassau’s plan to restore medical services to the barrier island. Their proposal to build a Medical Arts Pavilion, establish a permanent home emergency department in Long Beach, and improve our hospital in Oceanside is the most viable option to ensure that residents of the South Shore, including the barrier island, have access to quality health care now and in the future.”

Fellow Long Beach resident and former New York State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg said, “I can tell you from personal experience that this facility provides remarkable service—service we can all be proud of. South Nassau’s proposed plan to restore medical services demonstrates its commitment and responsibility to serve as a defend-in-place, premier regional provider of patient-centered healthcare services for the health and safety of our Long Beach and South Shore families.”

“Residents of Island Park have been a beneficiary of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s nearly 90-year mission and vision to be the region’s leading provider of advanced, healthcare services,” said Island Park Mayor Mike McGinty. “As mayor and a resident of Island Park, I am enthused by the hospital’s proposed expansion projects in Long Beach and Oceanside to ensure that residents throughout the South Shore of Nassau County continue to have convenient access to the standard-setting healthcare that they need and deserve.”

The projected combined cost of the projects is $279 million. This includes an estimated $113 million for the Southwest Addition, $45 million for the Medical Arts Pavilion, $93 million for the Central Utility Plant/Emergency Electrical Infrastructure (CUP/EEI) and $28 million for the parking structure.  South Nassau will invest $154 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds that were appropriated by Congress in 2014. The funds will be used in the construction of the Southwest Addition in Oceanside and the Medical Arts Pavilion in Long Beach and to partially offset the cost of the construction of the new central utility plant in Oceanside. No FEMA funds will be used for the proposed parking structure in Oceanside.

The hospital’s ‘alternative use’ application for the funds was approved by FEMA in 2016.  The alternative use provision allows for FEMA funds to be spent in an area outside of the immediate impact zone where storm damage occurred as long as the proposed project benefits the impacted area. South Nassau estimates that it will invest approximately $108 million of its own funds to pay for the construction of the parking structure and cover the remaining balance of the estimated cost of the new central utility plant.

More than $38 million has been invested to date on the barrier island as part of the effort to restore emergency medical services to Long Beach, including the acquisition of the Long Beach Medical Center property, opening of a temporary urgent care center and the upgrade to a free-standing 9-1-1 receiving emergency department, the first and only one of its kind on Long island. The $38 million used included a combination of South Nassau’s own resources, FEMA funds and New York State Department of Health grants.

Long Beach Medical Arts Pavilion
The two-story, 25,000 sq. ft. Medical Arts Pavilion will be the permanent home of an expanded free-standing Long Beach Emergency Department.  The expanded emergency department will have an estimated 15 exam rooms while also incorporating primary care medicine and radiology (including CT imaging), as well as other subspecialties on a rotating basis.

Utilizing portions of the former Long Beach Medical Center, the renovated structure will be fortified to meet current wind/seismic requirements and built in conformance with FEMA’s 500-year flood plain requirements. The site will also include an emergency staging area that can be utilized to transport patients via medevac helicopter, in the event of an extreme emergency. A boat ramp and dock also will be constructed at the new facility in Long Beach for waterborne emergency access.

South Nassau also plans to repurpose the current home of the Long Beach Emergency Department – built at a cost of more than $13 million - pending regulatory approval from state and federal officials.  One option under consideration is a multi-station dialysis center. This proposal will depend in part upon approval of federal reimbursement and New York State regulatory requirements.

Southwest Addition
The proposed four-story Southwest Addition to the hospital campus in Oceanside will nearly double the size of the hospital’s existing Emergency Department, add nine new operating rooms and a new Critical Care Unit as the need for intensive care is projected to grow in the South Shore Communities. The new operating suites will be sized to accommodate robotic and diagnostic equipment now found in modern operating rooms.

The proposed building also will include a two-floor, 40-bed intensive care unit to meet a growing need for critical care on the South Shore. (South Nassau currently has 26 intensive care beds.) South Nassau will remain a 455-bed hospital, proposing to convert existing medical-surgical beds to critical care beds to meet demand.

The expanded and upgraded emergency department will have an estimated 50 treatment areas, increased ambulance bay space, better lines of sight for physicians and nursing staff, as well as improved waiting areas, and separate areas for Pediatric and Behavioral Health emergencies. The Emergency Department currently treats approximately 65,000 patients a year, but was built to handle 35,000 per year. Projections indicate a future volume of 80,000 patients per year in Oceanside. The improved and expanded Emergency Department is expected to decrease wait times, which can be significant at the Oceanside campus due in part to current physical limitations.

Parking Structure

Following a meeting last May with the community, South Nassau commissioned a traffic study to determine the total existing parking demand that included intensive observation of on-street and off-street parking conditions. South Nassau’s current parking lots have a total capacity in excess of 1,200 cars. Based on the traffic study, the hospital’s consultant has recommended adding at least 300 additional parking spaces to alleviate current parking pressures on the neighborhood.
As a result of the study and consultation, South Nassau proposes to construct a parking structure in the east lot of One Healthy Way (parking lots 1 & 2). The proposed parking structure would be three stories and produce a net increase of more than 400 additional parking spaces.

Central Utility Plant and Emergency Electrical Infrastructure
During and after Superstorm Sandy, South Nassau remained in operation as a ‘defend-in-place’ critical resource for the community. (The barrier island was under a gubernatorial order of evacuation.) In conjunction with the hospital’s plan for the construction of the Southwest Addition, the hospital is proposing to upgrade and advance the capabilities of its Central Utility Plant, parts of which are nearing the end of their useful life. The proposed project will fortify the Oceanside campus' electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems against future storms and benefit the community by using energy resources more efficiently. The modernized plant will allow the hospital to provide critical health care services in a well-maintained environment and ensures that the hospital functions before, during and immediately after a major storm or other event. The project will supplement the upgrades to the hospital’s emergency back-up power system that is called upon to withstand power outages resulting from severe weather.

For more information about the proposed projects in Oceanside and Long Beach, go to: www.southnassau.org/fema.

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for outstanding nursing care, 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 offers Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is the only Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County verified by the American College of Surgeons. South Nassau also 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.