By Bill Parry
Elmhurst Hospital Center officials joined community and elected leaders to celebrate a new $16.3 million Women’s Pavilion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday.
The outpatient health care facility expands access to prenatal and obstetrical services for women while relieving a tremendous overcrowding situation at one of the city’s busiest hospitals.
“Given our 500,000 ambulatory care patients a year, this will help us a great deal,” city Health and Hospitals Corp.’s Senior Vice President Chris Constantino said.
Constantino was being conservative, according to one insider, who said the number is closer to 700,000 in addition to 130,000 emergency room visits. The 17,370-square-foot, two-story addition, at 78-20 41st Ave., adjacent to the hospital’s main building, will start accepting patients June 1.
The Women’s Pavilion will offer a variety of services throughout the state-of-the-art facility’s 18 examination rooms and provide space for classes in childbirth, breast-feeding, nutrition and diabetes education.
Dr. Jasmin Moshipur, the Regional Director, Queens Health Network, said, “This was my dream for 40 years and I’m glad it was built before my retirement. Obstetric patients don’t come by themselves — mothers, mother-in-laws, sisters, cousins. Now we have room for everyone.”
The new facility will provide 15 percent greater capacity in patient volume while adding 5 percent annual growth in service capacity over a five-year period, according to Constantino.
The $16.3 million project was financed through the state, the mayor’s office and the City Council.
“This is just another step in the journey to excellence,” former Councilwoman Helen Sears said.
She drove fund-raising efforts over the years with the help of Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-Corona), who allocated $1 million for the project.
“As a new mother, I am extremely pleased that I was able to contribute to the creation of the Women’s Pavilion,” Ferreras said. “For many of my constituents, Elmhurst Hospital Center is the premier destination to receive health care services, and I am proud that with this new addition, they will be able to further serve the needs of our most deserving patients: expectant mothers.
“Because women often spend so much of their time caring for other people, I take great pride in knowing that there will now be a dedicated place wherein they can be taken care of by skilled staff in a high-quality, state-of-the-art facility. I am happy to see women’s health being made a priority right here in my very own district.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4538.