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Wyckoff Heights Medical Center wants to remain in service for Queens residents.

America’s health care industry is changing, and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border is looking to partner with a regional health care giant to expand and enhance its services.

According to Wyckoff Heights CEO Ramon Rodriguez, the hospital is in discussions with the North Shore/LIJ Health System regarding an affiliation agreement designed to retain Wyckoff’s independence while also providing additional health care options and “support for quality of care and clinical decisions.”

Serving tens of thousands of patients annually from both sides of the Brooklyn/Queens border, Rodriguez said, the hospital needs to transform its services to keep up with the national health care trend that has seen the rise of urgent care centers and outpatient/ambulatory services along with a reduction in extended hospital stays.

To that end, the board recently authorized Rodriguez to seek out affiliations with larger medical organizations in the New York City area. In responding to a request for proposals, he noted, North Shore/LIJ offered what the board considered to be the best options for Wyckoff Heights.

“We are expecting to continue the services we deliver and expand outpatient and ambulatory services,” Rodriguez said. “We’re trying to figure out how to be more efficient and effective and make Wyckoff Heights a better place for residents to turn.”

The hospital already has a working agreement with Maimonides Medical Center, also a North Shore/LIJ partner, to enhance patient care as part of a transformation plan submitted to the state. Should the state approve the plan, Wyckoff Heights would be in line to receive $60 million in “substantial capital to make improvements to [the hospital’s] clinical services and make it possible to transform to a more outpatient delivery system,” Rodriguez said.

One such plan to enhance care is the creation of a revamped Maternity Department featuring new birthing rooms.

Working with Maimonides, Wyckoff Heights is on target later this year to receive certification to perform cardiac catherizations, a potentially lifesaving procedure among heart attack and stroke patients currently outsourced to other medical centers.

Rodriguez added that Wyckoff Heights is also working with the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council to expand health care availability to the more than 6,000 people the nonprofit agency serves in both neighborhoods.

As for the North Shore/LIJ partnership, Rodriguez is confident that an agreement will be finalized within six months to a year.

“We’re very excited about it,” he added. “Our board, after much discussion, felt that it made the most sense.”

The Ridgewood Times is awaiting a response from North Shore/LIJ to a request for comment.

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