FAR ROCKAWAY, 2017—Friday , July 7th, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital hosted a press conference to announce renovation and expansion scope of work regarding their recently approved NYSDOH Capital Restructuring Financing Program (CRFP) Grant for 10.15M. The hospital’s executive staff, as well as local community members and elected officials, have been working with the New York State Department of Health for over a year, awaiting final approval of the contract to begin construction. The renovation and expansion of the emergency department will double to 22,000 square feet and allow for more space to provide care to patients in the emergency room.
St. John’s CEO, Mr. Gerard M. Walsh, announced that the construction will last for approximately 24 months, which includes 12-months for the ED renovation/expansion and 12-months for the primary care co-location facility which will be housed at the current BOCES building. The new Emergency Department will provide adult and pediatric care, as well as psychiatric emergency care. By the end of construction, the department will include 19 private treatment rooms, 21 results waiting positions, six rapid evaluation beds, and 14 private areas in a separate psychiatric emergency department.
Chris Parker, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CHCQM , Executive Vice President/Chief Operation Officer, stated “the primary strategic goals of the renovation and expansion are to strengthen access to primary care on the peninsula by the addition of two medical home sites on the hospital campus, one of which is co-located with outpatient behavioral health services, allow patients who come to the ED that do not need emergency services to be treated in an appropriate primary care setting, reduce potentially avoidable hospital use because of a lack of access to primary care services and poorly managed chronic diseases, help St. John’s develop a stronger integrated delivery system that provides strengthened outpatient behavioral and mental health services to the community, and improve the crisis stabilization process and physical plan in the ED to better care for the behavioral health needs of the community”. These goals are conducive to the DSRIP goals set forth by the state department of health.
CEO, Gerard M. Walsh “We are excited about this milestone and look forward to its completion, thank you to our friends in government for creating a resource for safety net hospitals, thank you Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State Department of Health and Former Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder for your support”.
Congressman Gregory Meeks, “This is a great day, an important day for the hospital, and a really important day for all of the residents of the Rockaway Peninsula…When we’re all on the same page to make something happen, it happens”.
Senator James Sanders Jr., “As a resident of the Rockaways who has used the emergency room… I know that we have to do better and now, by the grace of God and through hard work, we have done better.”
Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., “There is so much more work to do, the days of taking people from the peninsula to Brooklyn or the mainland for better care have to end. We have to treat our people right here on the peninsula.”
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, “I was born in this hospital… What we’ve always had in this community is St, John’s Hospital and it’s stood through good times and bad times… I can’t wait to see the rest of the plans for this hospital.”
Assemblywoman Michele Titus, “Finally seeing this vision come through… and seeing that emergency room improvement that we need is so important… For our loved ones, friends, and neighbors, this is life or death, making sure they have access to quality care right here on the peninsula is so important.”
Council Member Donovan Richards Jr., “A change is coming to the Rockaways, but without improved healthcare access, the peninsula will still struggle, this grant is a tremendous victory that will ensure that residents can finally receive more equitable emergency healthcare without the hassle of having to cross any bridges.”
President and Chair of the Episcopal Health Services Board of Trustees, The Right Reverend Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, “What we’re doing here today is a milestone… Bringing together people who have a common goal, a common purpose and recognizing that we put all kinds of differences aside in order to accomplish what is necessary for the care of God’s people… is a shining moment for me personally and for what is happening in this community.”
1199 Union Coalition Representative, District Leader Lew Simon, “Four years ago, the coalition was formed… And when we formed this coalition… it was an exciting time, it was something that I dreamed about, and making sure that this hospital becomes state of the art.”
Chair of the St. John’s Community Advisory Committee, Dr. Edward Williams, “In my 25 years living in the Rockaways today’s announcement for the renovation was the first time, I witnessed a collaborative effort of the community and our elected officials and it came at the tutelage of CEO, Walsh and his team, I am proud to be a part of this day”.
At the conclusion of the press conference, attendees were offered a tour of the construction area by the hospital’s Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Support Services, Thomas Farzetta.
About St. John’s
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the only hospital providing emergency and ambulatory care to the densely populated, culturally and economically diverse, and medically underserved populations of the Rockaways and Five Towns in southern Queens County and southwestern Nassau County, New York. St. John’s is a New York State Designated Stroke Center, a recipient of the Gold-Plus Get with the Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association, and is a certified emergency heart care station. It is also designated as a 911/Level II trauma receiving hospital by the New York City Department of Health.