South Nassau wraps up first phase of $60M expansion

Cut to cure: South Nassau Communities Hospital brass, including CEO Richard Murphy (third from left), welcome the Oceanside hospital's state-of-the-art, 10-bed Emergency Department annex.

Marked by the opening of a new 10-bed annex, the first phase of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s $60 million Emergency Department expansion is complete.

Featuring “semi-private treatment bays” with flat-screen TVs and other medical and comfort-focused amenities, the annex fills a 4,500-square-foot renovated storage area inside the Oceanside hospital. Stocked with state-of-the-art monitor beds, additional cardiac monitors and “bedside laboratory testing capabilities,” it also includes a dedicated waiting area with free WiFi connectivity, according to South Nassau.

The $4.5 million bay will pick up the slack as other sections of the Emergency Department are renovated under the larger $60 million expansion effort.

Noting the previous department was “undersized for the number of patients we see every year,” South Nassau President and CEO Richard Murphy lauded “the first step in our plan to increase efficiency and enhance quality of care.”

“The Emergency Department is really our front door,” Murphy said Monday. “Some 75 percent of all our inpatients come through the ED.

“This will help patients who visit the Emergency Department have a more comfortable and less stressful experience.”

Including emergency patients, South Nassau treats roughly 65,000 patients annually, according to hospital statistics. The Oceanside Emergency Department is the only official trauma center on Nassau County’s South Shore, making it the only trauma center within reasonable reach of some 900,000 South Shore residents between Queens and southwestern Suffolk County.

One of Long Island’s last independent hospitals, South Nassau is currently discussing a potential affiliation with the Mount Sinai Health System. But that possible alliance has not stopped the hospital from plunging ahead with its $60 million renovation effort, which has been in the works for years.

South Nassau is also in the third year of a five-year, $10 million capital campaign designed to raise funds from community sources and other supporters to defray the expansion costs. To date, the campaign has raised roughly $6.9 million – covering the new Emergency Department annex for starters, according to Joseph Fennessy, chairman of South Nassau’s Board of Directors.

“We are putting the funds we have raised from donors to work with this 10-bed addition, which will have an immediate impact on improving the patient experience,” Fennessy said in a statement. “We have much more to do, but it is gratifying to see the first phase of our plans come to fruition.”