By Naeisha Rose
Phase one of a $2.5 million emergency room expansion project at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica has been completed as demand for care rises following the closure of several hospitals in the borough.
A ceremony marking the new services at the city-run hospital was held July 24 and attended by state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Hollis), City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
“A facility that can accommodate the needs in the Emergency Department will allow its dedicated staff to better serve the growing communities of Queens,” said Katz, whose office allocated $2 million for construction and $500,000 towards medical equipment.
The emergency department now has an additional 6,500 square feet, bringing its total square footage to 16,500. The add-ons include three nurse stations, three triage rooms, a resuscitation room, three isolation rooms, seven exam rooms and 19 cubicles.
The new medical gear includes ventilators, crash carts, infusion pumps, an EKG machine and IV poles, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens said.
“The new setting allows for the comprehensive treatment of all emergencies seen on a daily basis, and it takes into account an enhanced patient experience. We want to emphasize not only a better equipped Emergency Room, but also one that leaves our patients feeling reassured and well cared for,” said Dr. Jasmin Moshirpur, a dean and chief medical officer at NYC Health + Hospital/Queens, which is affiliated with the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
In early 2019, all phases of the project should be done and the capacity of the emergency department from is expected to nearly double from 50,000 visits per year, which was before the start of the expansion project, to 97,000 visits, according to the release.
Several hospitals have closed over the years throughout the borough and this has led to an uptick in demand in services for the remaining medical centers like
Queens Hospital Center at 82-68 164th St.
Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica and and St. John’s Queens in Elmhurst were shuttered in 2009. In 2012, Peninsula Hospital Center in Far Rockaway closed and Holliswood Hospital in Hollis shut it doors in 2013.
“The growing demand for our Emergency Department services has outstripped the present space, yet despite these challenges we have continued to expand our services,” said Chris Roker, the chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospital/Queens.
Overall, the entire project cost $5.8 million. In addition to Katz’s funds for the hospital, the city provided $2.4 million in funding for capital spending, and the City Council put up over $1.4 million to help with phases two to four.
In phase two, non-emergency spaces will be relocated to another part of the hospital and three asthma cubicles will be added. In addition, two existing adult triage rooms and adjacent corridors will be renovated. Phase three will include an emergency department pod featuring six new cubicles, five exam rooms, a nurse station and workroom, a medication room and expanded space for a workstation, break area, and locker rooms for new physician assistants. In the last phase, an existing nurse station will be renovated and reconfigured, and current cubicles will be refurbished.
“This expansion will help us better serve those who entrust us with their care at some of life’s most difficult moments, and we are privileged to help them at such times,” said President and CEO Mitchell Katz, of NYC Health + Hospitals.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose