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PR- 387-05
October 11, 2005


Breaks Ground for Harlem Hospital Modernization Project; Opens New Pavilion at Kings County Hospital Center; Breaks Ground at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center for a New Emergency Department

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Acting President Alan D. Aviles today marked three major modernization and expansion projects at Harlem Hospital Center, Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center and Kings County Hospital Center. At a cost of $406 million, these improvements will result in greater access to the latest medical advances for families in New York City, improved physical and therapeutic environments, and faster EMS turnaround in emergency rooms.  These improvements are part of a City-wide five year, $1.3 billion program to improve HHC hospitals.  The Mayor and HHC Acting President Aviles visited all three hospitals today.
“For the past few years, HHC facilities have been ranked among the top hospitals in the city – public or private – for patient safety and quality healthcare,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Their state-of-the-art information technology places them in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide.  Today’s announcement underscores my commitment to making the investments that are needed so our public hospitals can continue delivering outstanding healthcare for all New Yorkers in the years to come.”

“These three major modernization projects constitute yet another round of critical investment in the future of our extraordinary public hospital system that serves as a safety-net and line of emergency first response for all New Yorkers,” said HHC Acting President Alan D. Aviles.  “With the City’s continued strong support – for which we are grateful -- we will continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients in facilities that are increasingly state-of-the-art.”
Opens New Pavilion at Kings County Hospital Center

The Mayor went to Kings County Hospital Center to open a new $145 million, 260,000 square-foot emergency, diagnostic, treatment, surgery and labor and delivery services pavilion that features a modern emergency department/trauma suite, a birthing center with spacious labor and delivery suites and a new linear accelerator to provide cutting-edge treatment options for cancer patients. The new pavilion will increase patient safety, improve efficiency and provide state-of-the-art technology and amenities in patient care and public areas.  The new pavilion is located between the recently constructed Inpatient Bed Tower (finished in 2001) and the future Ambulatory Care Center (now under construction and scheduled to open next spring). 

The construction of a new pavilion was phase two of a $500 million five-phase campus-wide redevelopment project, which will modernize and centralize services across the existing 44-acre campus.  This five-phase project is the largest renovation in the 35-year history of the City’s Health and Hospital Corporation.  Kings County Hospital Center is a 627-bed facility that serves primarily the communities of East New York, Brownsville, Flatbush, East Flatbush, and Crown Heights and is one of the largest providers of medical care in Central Brooklyn. In Fiscal Year 2004, there were approximately 611,000 outpatient visits, more than 8,000 ambulatory surgeries, and over 100,000 Emergency Department visits. The Hospital operates a full spectrum of medical, surgical, obstetrical, pediatric, rehabilitation and mental health services.  On its most recent Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations review, it achieved a score of 97 out of a possible 100.

Breaks Ground on New and Expanded Emergency Department at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center

The Mayor then traveled to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center to break ground on a $12.5 million, 46,000 square-foot renovation and expansion of its top-rated emergency department.  The new emergency department will provide additional facilities to treat the more than 145,000 patients each year in the busiest emergency room in New York City.  The existing emergency room at Lincoln Hospital, built in 1972, will be renovated and expanded to create a new larger emergency department featuring the latest state-of-the-art technology.  Clinics that are currently next to the emergency department will be moved into their own two story annex nearby at an additional cost of $5.5 million.  This move will allow for the expansion of the emergency department.  Once completed, the emergency department expansion will provide an elegant walk-in entrance for patients, a private vehicle drop-off, and a separate area for ambulance traffic. The new design provides greater efficiency, improved patient privacy, comfortable amenities in patient care areas and public spaces, children’s play area, adequate bathroom facilities and comfortable seating.

Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center has been recognized for many innovations including a full complement of specialized physicians with certification in pediatric emergency medicine, a Telephone Triage service to reduce unnecessary emergency department visits, and a Center of Excellence for victims of sexual assault.  The hospital scored 98 out of a possible 100 in its last accreditation survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations, and Consumers Digest Magazine recently recognized the facility as one of the top fifty “exceptional hospitals” in the nation.

Breaks Ground for Harlem Hospital Modernization Project

The Mayor then went to Harlem Hospital to break ground at the $243 million modernization of Harlem Hospital - HHC's largest single rebuilding project to date.  This new project will renovate the Martin Luther King Pavilion, and construct a new pavilion on Lenox Avenue that will connect the King Pavilion to the Ron Brown Pavilion to create one unified healthcare complex.  The new pavilion will include a new emergency department, operating rooms, diagnostic and treatment services, a critical care suite and a modern radiology center.  The modernization will unify the hospital campus, which currently comprises seven buildings over two blocks, renovate the inpatient bed tower, provide a garage for use by the Hospital community, build a new FDNY Emergency Medical Service Garage, and provide an overall patient-friendly and staff-efficient environment. 

Included in the modernization plan for Harlem Hospital is the restoration of priceless WPA-era art murals, which are part of the existing Harlem Hospital Center campus.  The restored murals will become the centerpiece of the design and the inspiration for the new face of the hospital.  The vision for the project is to design and build a new hospital, which will reflect Harlem's unique legacy and cultural heritage and to create a new landmark that will be recognized around the world.  The design has already received a 2005 Design Award of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The breakdown of the total cost for the modernization of Harlem Hospital is as follows: $225.5 million for the new pavilion and the renovation of the Martin Luther King Pavilion, $10 million for the garage, $4.6 million for the EMS garage, $2.8 million for the WPA-era art murals.

Harlem Hospital is a teaching institution affiliated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. The hospital's Residency Program is a national leader in the training of African-American physicians. Harlem Hospital treats nearly 80,000 emergency room cases annually and more than 320,000 patients use the hospital’s clinics.  Harlem Hospital is home to a nationally recognized Asthma Center, one of only six such clinical research centers in the country; and the award-winning model Tuberculosis Clinic is one of only three in the U.S. Since 1992, the clinic has helped reduce active tuberculosis cases in Harlem by 75%. Recently, Harlem Hospital's AIDS physicians were central in winning a $125 million grant from Columbia University to expand HIV service programs throughout Africa.  The hospital scored 98 out of a possible 100 in its last accreditation survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations.

HHC hospitals serve more than 1.3 million New Yorkers each year; 450,000 of them are uninsured.  Over the last three years, all of the 11 HHC hospitals have undergone rigorous review by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, the independent body responsible for monitoring hospital compliance with professional standards.  HHC hospitals have received some of the highest scores ever earned by any hospitals, public or private, in New York City.


Edward Skyler/Jonathan Werbell   (212) 788-2958


Kate McGrath   (Health and Hospitals Corporation)
(212) 788-3386

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