Last Friday morning, local elected officials joined the hospital’s leaders and surgeons for the “wall-breaking” ceremony. The new 5,000-square-foot space is slated to be completed by 2021.
When finished, the site will feature a new operating room, four new procedure rooms, 18 pre- and post-procedure beds and new waiting areas.
The center expands Elmhurst Hospital’s surgical specialty services, including urology, gastroenterology, general surgery, pulmonology, ophthalmology and gynecology.
“What we’re bringing to life is a building,” said Israel Rocha, CEO of Elmhurst Hospital and vice president of NYC Health+Hospitals. “But more than that, it’s a place that will save tens of thousands of lives.”
In addition to offering expanded services, the new center is expected to increase the volume of its same-day surgeries by around 45 percent.
Rocha said having a new ambulatory surgery site will allow doctors to detect malignancies or complications, which will allow them to do biopsies, removals and samples.
Hopefully, he said, that prevents more patients from requiring life-saving procedures in the first place.
“The way to have both of them accommodated in one center is to create an ambulatory surgery center,” Rocha said.
Dr. Renee Spiegel, director of the Department of Surgery, recalled the groundbreaking for the original ambulatory surgery center two decades ago.
Since that time, she said, procedural areas in the hospital have expanded “exponentially.” Doctors now conduct advanced endoscopic procedures, laparoscopic cases, hip and knee surgeries, colonoscopy screenings and more.
“Since that time, we have completely outgrown the small space that we currently inhabit,” Spiegel said. “There’s just not enough space to take care of the patients.”
As a result, she said, wait times and delays are extended.
“This new space will allow us to give state-of-the-art, quality and timely care to all our patients,” Spiegel added, “in diagnosing and curing life-threatening diseases.”
Dr. Jasmin Moshirpur, regional medical director at Elmhurst, added that the hospital is also working to build a comprehensive stroke center, renovate its emergency room and rebuild its labor and delivery room, all within the next five years.
“With those expansions, we can provide the most comprehensive care to our community,” she said.