Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lenox Hill Hospital To Begin Construction At St. Vincent's Site in December

North Shore-LIJ and Lenox Hill Hospital gets thumbs up from a state committee to construct $125 million emergency department on site of bankrupt St. Vincent's Medical Center.

A controversial proposal to build a freestanding emergency department on the campus of the former St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village was approved Thursday morning by a key state planning committee. The application, from North Shore-LIJ Health System's Lenox Hill Hospital division, must now be approved by the state health commissioner. The Department of Health has already signaled it favors the plan.

The facility will be known as the Lenox Hill Hospital Comprehensive Care Center.

Activists and some health care advocates have pushed politicians to try to defeat the plan and instead hold out for a proposal that could result in a new full-service hospital on the bankrupt St. Vincent's medical complex.

The freestanding emergency department is a "hybrid model of care" according to the applicant. The facility would be located in the O'Toole building on Seventh Avenue, a former maritime union hall. Construction would involve gutting the building and reducing its 160,000 square feet to 140,000 square feet. Most of the money would come from Lenox Hill, with the Rudin Group real estate firm contributing $10,000.

The $125 million center will be classified as a hospital and will operate under Lenox Hill Hospital's operating certificate. The facility will have paramedic-staffed ambulances standing by around the clock, and board-certified emergency physicians on duty. It will be able to treat and release an estimated 90% of patients and stabilize others so they can be transferred to other hospitals.

Construction will begin in December 2011 and the facility would be operational by April 2014.