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With many of its facilities inside the state-of-the-art Ambulatory Care Pavilion already open and the rest scheduled to open within the next week, Queens Hospital Center (QHC) is continuing its goal of becoming a hospital of choice for the people of Queens.
The Pavilion, a $53 million, six-story, 142,000 square foot building, will have clinics and offices for Pediatrics, Child Development, Adult Primary Care, Dental Services, Behavioral Health, Ophthalmology as well as a Diabetes Center for Excellence.
&#8220Our goal is we want our immediate neighbors to see all of the good things we are doing for the community and to come and utilize us,” said Anthony Rajkumar, associate executive director of Ambulatory Care Services. &#8220We are very proud of the new Queens Hospital Center, a community hospital, a hospital of choice.”
The new Pavilion is linked structurally to QHC's main center, which was built only five years ago, and patients and staff can utilize the indoor bridge that connects the two facilities.
&#8220It unifies our campus,” said Antonio Martin, executive director of Queens Hospital Center. &#8220We are much more efficient being linked in like this on 164th Street as opposed to operating over 24 acres of land.”
Dr. Debra Brennessel, director of the department of Ambulatory Care Services, said the new Pavilion is the cherry on top of the cake with the hospital working to provide patient-centered behavioral health care.
&#8220I am very excited,” Dr. Brennessel said. &#8220The space is phenomenal. It is light and airy and well designed for patient flow and confidentiality. They [the patients] can get everything they need in the one building.”
The first floor of the Pavilion is the new home for Pediatrics as well as the Child Development Center (CDC)/Early Intervention Program.
&#8220The child development program and the early intervention program deals with newborns through age eight, and they work extraordinary close with pediatricians,” said Dr. Joseph Merlino, director of Psychiatry. &#8220[The new building] is going to facilitate communication and patient care…that's a wonderful innovation.”
In addition, the first floor will contain a state-of-the-art asthma treatment center as well as pediatric neurology, cardiology, endocrinology and a healthy lifestyle program that works to tackle the issue of obesity.
&#8220It's a multidisciplinary approach to address the need of that child or children who are overweight,” Rajkumar said. &#8220We have support groups. We give them the opportunity to use the gym in the rehab center and of course control the diet.”
The second floor contains Dental Services and the Adult Primary Care Services Clinic, both of which contain state-of-the-art equipment.
Dr. Bernard Shakter, director of the department of Dental Medicine, said when they redid his department nearly 15 years ago in the Triboro Building of the hospital, &#8220we thought that we were in heaven. Now, when you see the difference, it's spectacular.”
The new Dental Services department in the Pavilion will contain 10 private examining rooms, compared to the six currently located in the old building.
&#8220It gives us the flexibility to get patients in and out, and also to address improving access,” Rajkumar said. &#8220This will reduce the amount of time they have to wait for appointments and the patients will also be in and out in a shorter time.”
In addition, one of the most prized pieces of equipment is the Scanx machine that provides digital x-rays to doctors allowing them to bring them up on a computer screen within seconds and manipulate the images on the screen as well as store digital images on the computer.
&#8220Our patient population will get the finest care in the finest facility probably in the city of New York, and maybe the entire East Coast or the entire country,” he continued.
The third floor contains a Behavioral Health Center for Excellence, a one-stop place designed in order to address the needs of all behavioral health patients, and includes the adolescent day treatment program, adult out-patient services, continuing day program, partial hospital and child and adolescent clinic.
&#8220It gives the patients a better environment and enables us to see more patients, and also having it co-located with the other programs on the same floor, you have all the experts on the same floor in case a patient needs a particular thing,” Rajkumar said. &#8220It's very crucial to co-locate all the behavioral health programs on the same floor and within the same environment because this way the access is there for our patients.”
The Diabetes Center of Excellence and the Center for Eye Care, are both located on the fourth floor of the Pavilion.
The hospital decided to create the Diabetes Center for Excellence because the disease is one of the most common that they see patients come in for treatment, according to Rajkumar. He said that the center would educate newly-diagnosed patients about diabetes as well as examine why the patients' sugar levels are up. The hospital co-located a podiatry clinic on the same floor since diabetic patients often need treatment in this area as well.
The Center for Eye Care, which also relocated from the Triboro Building to the fourth floor of the Pavilion, has increased its number of examining rooms and technology to include laser-technology.
&#8220This is better laid out so that the patient flow will be better,” said Dr. Vivien Boniuk, Director of Ophthalmology. &#8220It's a nice, bright, shiny new atmosphere, and everybody's very enthusiastic about the move. We have an excellent staff, and we are really looking forward to seeing patients in this new environment.”
When QHC cut the ribbon for the Pavilion in November of 2006, a slew of elected officials, including Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, praised the new facility saying it is a great addition for the Queens community.
&#8220This new Pavilion is exactly the type of enhanced care that our borough needs and wants in order to stop a dramatic out-migration of Queens residents who seek medical care in other counties,” Marshall said. &#8220This modernization effort that began several years ago has culminated with a stunning transformation that provides an entire framework for reliable healthcare options for the people of Queens.”
The addition of the new Pavilion, the opening of the new main building along 164th Street five years ago and the continued record of excellence the hospital staff strives to maintain has helped the hospital garner recognition, even from the recently released Berger Commission report, which recommending closing a number of facilities in the city.
&#8220The Berger Commission recommended additional beds for this hospital, and I think that's recognition of the growth and the progress we have made here,” said Martin.

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