Westchester Medical Center last week unveiled its new eight-story, 280,000-square-foot ambulatory care pavilion that will provide large-scale outpatient care for the first time at the hospital and feature some of the world’s most advanced technology.
The $280 million facility, which is expected to open in phases starting by the end of this month, features eight operating rooms that will expand the medical center’s surgical capacity, 36 private pre- and post-surgery bays and imaging for the radiologists and cardiologists that is so advanced they can potentially diagnose diseases or find tumors or blocked arteries that may have previously gone undetected.
“It will help us tremendously to improve outcomes,” said Dr. Rifat Latifi, director of the Department of Surgery at Westchester Medical Center. “Every patient who comes here is treated with the latest advances in surgery and technology. That’s an incredible addition to the Westchester region as far as the technology is concerned.”
Since Westchester Medical Center is a tertiary care center the hospital hasn’t done much outpatient care, said Michael Israel, president and CEO of WMCHealth.
The ambulatory care pavilion is also moving in a direction that is being dictated in the healthcare field.
“This has the overarching goal of keeping people out of the hospital,” said Dr. Julio Penza, chief of cardiology.
While the main part of the hospital would be able to do nearly all of what the new ambulatory care pavilion can accomplish, it is not equipped to handle the large influx of patients who would come and go for procedures on the same day, he said.
The technology, such as the world’s first spectral-detector-based computed tomography device that captures two views for improved diagnostic capabilities, and the Vascular and Interventional Technology, was acquired as part of the 15-year, $500 million agreement Westchester Medical Center signed with Philips about four years ago, Israel said.
“You want to do it, the question is can you afford to do it?” he said. “Can you afford to get the best, the greatest technology and the fact of the matter is we found a way to do it, with our partnership, to do it.”
Israel said that the facility was funded by a combination of bonding with assistance from the Westchester County Local Development Corporation, the medical center’s own operating funds and through various business arrangements. It is Westchester’s largest healthcare construction project more than 40 years.
The entire facility is expected to be in full use by late summer or early fall.
Dr. Zvi Lefkovitz, the hospital’s director and chief of radiology, added that the ambulatory care pavilion is a boon for Westchester residents. When he started his career more than 30 years ago, Lefkovitz said he could only dream about this type of equipment that he now gets to work with today.
“One of the unique things about this is our relationship with Philips and we are really putting the most advanced technology in the world here, so the people who live here in Westchester don’t have to go to the Mayo Clinic, Mass General or Johns Hopkins,” he said. “They can do down the block and literally get the best technology anywhere.”