Harlem Hospital Center - New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
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September 28, 2009

Sherri Holman, MPH
Associate Director of Public Affairs
P (212) 939-1372 F (212) 939-1367

Harlem Hospital Center Announces
Steel Topping Out Ceremony New Patient Pavilion

Harlem Hospital Center celebrated a significant milestone in its $272.3 million Modernization Project with a steel topping out ceremony on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. The event marked the completion of the structural steel construction for the hospital's New Patient Pavilion. Distinguished guests, colleagues, community members and friends of Harlem Hospital Center gathered for the ceremony at the site of the New Patient Pavilion on Lenox Avenue near 136th Street.

A steel topping out ceremony is a tradition in the construction industry and is celebrated when a project's “crown” is placed on the building's highest point. Invited guests autographed the final steel beam, which bore an American flag. The white steel beam was hoisted by a tower crane to its new home atop the 195,000-square-foot, seven-story building.

The five-year modernization plan for the hospital involves demolishing antiquated buildings, renovating space and building the New Patient Pavilion. When the modernization is completed in 2012, the New Patient Pavilion will integrate the inpatient, emergency room, and outpatient services, creating one large health care complex for the Harlem community. The new atrium lobby will link major components of the campus, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Pavilion and the Ronald H. Brown Ambulatory Care Pavilion, creating a centerpiece for the complex that will house a new emergency department and allow for world class patient-centered care and service.

“For more than 120 years, Harlem Hospital Center has been a vital institution in the Harlem community,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “It's the largest hospital in the area and provides a wide range of medical, surgical, diagnostic, therapeutic and family support services to the residents here. This modern medical complex is a world-class facility that will allow us to continue to provide exceptional health care and high-quality service to our patients, enabling us to meet the needs of this diverse and growing Northern Manhattan community well into the future.”

“We are excited about this occasion. The New Patient Pavilion will allow us to continue our momentum in providing Harlem residents and surrounding communities with the latest technology and delivery of outstanding patient care,” stated, José R. Sánchez, LCSW, LMSW, Senior Vice President, Generations+/Northern Manhattan Network.

“With this phase of the construction complete, we can look forward to the newly renovated, modern Harlem Hospital Center, which is what the community needs and deserves,” said John M. Palmer, Ph.D., Executive Director of Harlem Hospital Center. “The Modernization Project is an example that we are committed to providing superior medical care and services for our patients now and in the future.”

Harlem Hospital Center is a member of the Generations+/Northern Manhattan Health Network and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. Harlem is a designated Level 1 Trauma Center, with a full spectrum of specialty services, including an adult intensive care unit, a respiratory intensive care unit, a pediatric intensive care unit, and a cardiac care unit. Harlem operates one of only a few Burn Units in New York City that include a specialty in plastic and reconstructive surgery to reduce the scarring unique to the African-American community. The hospital provides over 90 specialized ambulatory care services, dentistry and oral surgery, behavioral health services, and community substance abuse treatment.

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is a $5.3 billion public benefit corporation that serves 1.3 million New Yorkers, nearly 450,000 of whom are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 80 community based clinics.

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