24-hour medical care returns to the Lower West Side | East Villager & Lower East Sider

24-hour medical care returns to the Lower West Side

BY JOHN GUPTA  |  In the shadows of buildings that housed St. Vincent’s Hospital for 160 years, a new era of healthcare is emerging in a ship-like building that once served as the headquarters of the National Maritime Union, on the west side of Seventh Ave., between W. 12th and W. 13th Sts.

As part of the historic redevelopment of the West Side, the first phase of what we’re calling the Lenox Hill HealthPlex will open in late June, with the debut of Manhattan’s first freestanding emergency center. It will provide patients with around-the-clock access to board-certified emergency physicians, specialty trained nurses, specialist consultations and other healthcare professionals.


John Gupta.

This new model of community-based care also includes future plans for:

• An Imaging Center

• Ambulatory Surgery Suite

• Outpatient Rehabilitation

• Health and Wellness Services

• Medical Specialty Practices

• Home-based Services

As part of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Lenox Hill is investing more than $150 million to redevelop the interior of the 50-year-old, landmarked structure (formerly known as the O’Toole Building). All of the exterior nautical features of the building, designed by New Orleans architect Albert C. Ledner, are being maintained, including scalloped overhangs, a porthole facade and a rooftop bulkhead that looks like a steamship smokestack.

We took great pains to respect the architecture of the 160,000-square-foot building, recognizing the distinctive character of the West Village. In addition to filling a healthcare void on the West Side that has existed since the closure of St. Vincent’s in 2010, this new medical complex will bring hundreds of new jobs to the neighborhood, helping to revitalize small businesses.

The HealthPlex Emergency Center will occupy the first floor of the six-story building. It will be designed, staffed and equipped to accommodate up to 45,000 emergency visits annually. It will serve as a receiving facility for the New York City 911 Emergency Medical System, have 24/7 lab services, advanced radiology, and include an ambulance to transport patients as needed.

PRG2014COVERThe HealthPlex will provide emergency medical care that is efficient, accessible and linked to a continuum of care to all patients, regardless of insurance status. Our emergency clinicians will be able to treat a wide range of illnesses and injuries. Patients presenting at the HealthPlex with an apparent heart attack, stroke and other life-threatening conditions would be evaluated and stabilized using the facility’s advanced life-support technologies, and then prepared for transport to a hospital, if needed.

Having those critical resources and services available in a neighborhood facility could mean the difference between life and death for patients experiencing a medical crisis.

Among its many close ties to local organizations, Lenox Hill HealthPlex has created a partnership with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (L.G.B.T.) Community Center. In 2013, Lenox Hill Hospital was recognized as a “Leader in L.G.B.T. Healthcare Equality” in an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest L.G.B.T. organization.

Also in 2013, Lenox Hill donated $100,000 to the New York City AIDS Memorial that will be erected in St. Vincent’s Hospital Park, located in the triangle across from the HealthPlex at the intersection of Seventh Ave., W. 12th St. and Greenwich Ave.

To find out more about the Lenox Hill HealthPlex go to: http://www.lenoxhillhealthplex.org

—  Gupta is executive director, Lenox Hill HealthPlex