Additions at Good Sam, Our Lady hospitals
Good Samaritan Hospital

Courtesy photo

Additions at Good Sam, Our Lady hospitals

Story By: RANDALL WASZYNSKI
9/26/2019


In addition to Our Lady of Consolation Nursing and Rehabilitative Center’s cancer center being established, Catholic Health Services of Long Island’s Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip is planning to create a pediatric emergency department addition as well as a new patient-care pavilion. Administrators from Good Sam spearheaded a presentation outlining the recent updates to the overall plan at the West Islip Chamber of Commerce meeting on Sept. 18 at American Legion Post 1736.

The hospital has the second-busiest emergency department in Suffolk County. The triage area will be redone to increase the privacy and efficiency of the throughput within the hospital, which will be finished towards the end of December. John McMurray, Good Sam’s chief operating officer, said he was tasked with fixing the constantly overcrowded emergency department, and the answer was to establish a separate pediatric ED.

“I have a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old,” McMurray said. “If I am going to the emergency room, I do not want to go into an adult emergency room. I want to go into a special pediatric emergency room.”

The pediatric ED would be built out of modular systems and situated on the back end of the existing ED. The emergency department on the first floor will feature a new surgery platform of 16 operating rooms, some of which measure up to 1,000 square feet.

“All the technology that is in place in the operating room needs space,” McMurray said. “To find, attract, recruit and retain doctors to come to Long Island and live in a very expensive area, you have to have the Cadillac of surgery suites.”

McMurray also said a significant portion of labor has been delegated to delivery renovations, which has always had a considerable impact on the community. An additional operating room and labor room will allow for that impact to be greater.

“When you think of Good Sam, you think of the babies and everything associated with that great event for a family,” he said.

Upgrades would be done to the interventional radiology suites, including three new cath labs by 2020 and two electrophysiology labs. Additionally, the implementation of an infusion center situated on the floor below bolsters the comprehensiveness of the hospital’s cancer program.

“This gives us the opportunity to have all the oncology specialties that we have in different locations of Good Samaritan and then private practices in the community and bring them under one roof,” McMurray added.

The new cancer center was established from repurposed space, which was previously underused at Our Lady of Consolation. The ribbon cutting for the center will take place on Oct. 3.

The proposed patient-care pavilion is still in the design phase, and thus, there is no relevant timetable. McMurray said the current design will feature 115 single-patient rooms.

Through a FEMA grant, new generators will be installed as part of the overall project. Our Lady of Consolation is also undergoing new generator installations. McMurray said that the grant process inevitably takes time to process, but assured that designs and applications have been submitted.

“A lot of lessons learned from [Hurricane] Sandy were applied,” he said. “Having the hospital open during the storm is one thing, but really where the community needs it is after the storm.”

Although there are currently enough parking spots dedicated to the hospital and Our Lady of Consolation campus, a considerable portion of them are not convenient. There are plans to redesign the sectioning for parking so that employees and visitors of either the hospital or Our Lady of Consolation are not making use of other lots. McMurray said that shuttles would be necessary for some sections.

Residents nearby Beach Drive say that the attractions — the Good Samaritan campus, the marina, the ball fields — add up to an unruly traffic situation. McMurray said that a parking study, which is traffic-study comprehensive, is currently in the works.

On a note of policy, McMurray expressed that Good Sam enforces the goal of shorter stay for patients.

“The best thing to do once you are in the hospital is get out of the hospital,” he said. “It sounds counter to what you would think a hospital would want you to do, but I really want you to come in, get well, and get gone.”

McMurray said that he has an operation center on-site that has saved a patient’s average length of stay by one day.

“It looks like an air-traffic control center of where everybody is with beds, where the transporters that move you through the hospital are, and where testing is happening,” he said. “It is kind of like little GPSs on people throughout the facility. I can track the entire facility from just a few minutes of looking at the boards and go on with my day and know that the operations and the trains are on time.”

A Good Sam representative stressed that all designs presented, at this time, are strictly conceptual, as state and local approvals must be obtained before moving forward in the process. n