Residents in Astoria and other Queens neighborhoods will get an increased level of hospital care at the new Mount Sinai Queens Pavilion at 30-12 30th Ave., which formally opened with an April 26 ceremony.
The new six-story, 140,000-square-foot Pavilion and enhanced services are a departure from the hospital branch’s humble roots as the Astoria General Hospital, which was built by a group of physicians in 1949.
The Queens branch of Mount Sinai celebrated the grand opening of the Pavilion and Kaufman Astoria Studios entrance with speeches from hospital staff and elected officials and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.
“Today marks the culmination of a plan that, if you can believe it, began almost 20 years ago. A plan that sought to ensure that the residents of this neighborhood, this community and this borough could get high-quality care close to where they live and work,” said Caryn A. Schwab, the executive director of Mount Sinai Queens in her opening remarks.
“Over the last 18 months to two years, we’ve recruited over 40 new physicians, talented folks who are providing both primary and preventive care on the outpatient side, but importantly, more complex care including bariatric surgery, oncologic surgery and robotic surgery. All of this wouldn’t be possible without this new space,” Schwab said.
The new Pavilion features an enlarged surgical suite with six new operating rooms, expanded outpatient medical imaging for tests like MRI, CT scan, X-ray and ultrasound, and pre-surgical testing services.
In addition to unveiling the new facilities, the hospital dedicated the Pavilion’s entrance in honor of the Kaufman Astoria Studios’ namesake George Kaufman, who was a fixture in the world of real estate until his death in February of this year. The KAS made a donation to the $180 million project to help fund the Pavilion.
Everything went according to plan, up to a point. As Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer made his speech, the banner covering the entrance’s name fell. But no harm, no foul; the incident added an element of levity to an already joyous occasion.
Other speakers at the grand opening included David L. Reich, MD, president and chief operating officer at the hospital, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, Councilman Costa Constantinides and Hal G. Rosenbluth, president and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios.
A recurring theme throughout the speeches was that residents in Astoria and Queens at large no longer have to travel out of their borough to receive world-class hospital services.
“It’s great to know that you have someone you trust right in the neighborhood, which has not always been the case,”Gianaris said. “There are hospitals closing all over the city and all over Queens, and we are the lucky ones to have a place that’s expanding and growing and giving us so many opportunities to provide the healthcare that we need so that we don’t have to cross the river any time someone gets sick.”