What is Lenox Hill Hospital’s impact on health care in New York City?

Lenox Hill Hospital is an iconic New York institution that has served the community since 1857. Since its founding, Lenox Hill Hospital has been a center for innovation and medical breakthroughs. Our hospital is especially well known for excellence in cardiovascular disease, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, maternal/child health and internal medicine. Lenox Hill Hospital has a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments.

Lenox Hill is recognized for providing the highest quality care, ranked in the top 50 best hospitals in the U.S. by Healthgrades, and top 50 in nine specialties according to a U.S. News & World Report analysis of more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide.

Click here to learn more about Lenox Hill Hospital’s long history and medical accomplishments.

Who does Lenox Hill Hospital serve?

Lenox Hill Hospital is proud to be part of such a dynamic community and its long history of providing for the neighborhood and beyond.

Today, more than 144,000 patients visit Lenox Hill Hospital every year, with over 50,000 total emergency room visits (including 37,000 treat and release) and more than 4,000 baby deliveries. Lenox Hill Hospital also employs over 4,000 healthcare workers from across the city with well-paying jobs.

Lenox Hill Hospital has a diverse patient population, with over 55% of patients self-identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. More than half of Lenox Hill Hospital’s patients use government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. 

In recent years, Northwell Health was one of two health systems in the five boroughs to sign the Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) statement and committed to taking concrete action to address the impact of structural racism. Northwell Health was also previously named the best health system for diversity in the United States by DiversityInc for its focus on inclusion, empowerment and health equity. Additionally, Northwell Health launched the Center for Equity of Care more than a decade ago to guide and accelerate the health system’s efforts to eliminate health disparities and deliver culturally sensitive care.

What is the current status of the project?

Lenox Hill Hospital is actively engaging with our neighbors, patients, staff and local leaders about our updated plans for the hospital to ensure we can effectively deliver the next generation of high-quality care for New Yorkers.

In 2019, we started a process to modernize this vital medical institution. Over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020, we presented our initial plans to Community Board 8 and participated in a task force convened by then-Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and led by City Council Member Keith Powers.

Under the stewardship of Northwell Health, Lenox Hill Hospital has built a reputation for delivering world-class care. But the current facility consists of a patchwork of ten separate buildings, with several erected more than a century ago, and is simply not configured to deliver the next generation of care. We plan to revitalize Lenox Hill into a hospital ready to care for current and future generations. This will ensure the hospital remains at the forefront of clinical care regionally and nationally for years to come.

What changes have been made to the proposal since Northwell shared its initial plans?

Following a series of Lenox Hill Task Force meetings convened with our local leaders, the Northwell team has made changes to our original proposal, including:

We will continue to meet with and provide updates to our neighbors and other stakeholders throughout the coming months. We will continue our extensive outreach efforts to meet with and provide updates to our neighbors and other stakeholders throughout the coming months.

Why are you rebuilding Lenox Hill Hospital? What are your goals for the renewal?

The purpose and need for the proposed project are grounded in improving health outcomes for our patients, ensuring it will remain a resource for the community and New York City for years to come. A revitalized Lenox Hill Hospital will allow us to continue providing top-tier care to all of our patients. The current facility, parts of which date back to the 1900s, is not sustainable for the clinical demands of future generations. 

Single-bed patient rooms will align Lenox Hill Hospital with modern-day industry standards, offering all patients added confidentiality, reduced infection risk and a more dignified experience.

State-of-the-art operating rooms will improve the configuration of the space, allowing the hospital to adapt to space and technology needs and new industry practices.

Right-sizing the Emergency Department will offer patients more comfort and privacy while creating space to isolate infectious or immuno-compromised patients.

A dedicated Mother-Baby Hospital to better serve the more than 4,000 deliveries performed at Lenox Hill Hospital annually in a more environmentally friendly structure for future generations. 

In addition to improvements to the Lenox Hill Hospital facilities, Northwell Health is committed to improving the experience for our longtime neighbors and community. Our proposal also improves street conditions by modifying our ambulance bay and service loading areas, moving vehicular traffic off our streets and within the building’s footprint. As part of the renewed Lenox Hill Hospital, we would also invest in increasing ADA accessibility to the 77th Street subway station and expanding the stairway to ease pedestrian congestion. This project will also contribute to the continued economic revitalization of New York City post-COVID by creating jobs for New Yorkers.

Does Lenox Hill Hospital plan to continue operating during construction, and will there be any adjustments to operations to accommodate construction?

Yes, Lenox Hill Hospital will remain open and fully operational and continue to provide the excellent level of care for which the hospital is best known. Lenox Hill is a major economic generator and employer for the community. We’re committed to keeping these important jobs intact and providing the best possible care for our patients during this challenging time.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your plan?

The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed the need for a state-of-the-art hospital aligned with our vision for a revitalized Lenox Hill Hospital. Healthcare facilities need to feature patient care areas, including surgical suites, other interventional spaces and single-bedded patient rooms that allow for a better patient experience and improved staff work areas and workflow. 

The pandemic also highlighted the need for a larger emergency department, right-sized to meet the population’s needs. Our revised plan expands the emergency department and provides private rooms that can treat two patients during surge events, areas for monitoring, and a large-scale exterior triage zone to separate patients for the infectious and noninfectious hospital areas during a pandemic.

Outside of the COVID-19 health crisis, these changes will become increasingly important as more healthcare procedures continue to become outpatient in nature, leaving hospitals to provide more intensive procedures and treatments. 

What will the hospital look like?

The design details for a renewed Lenox Hill Hospital have yet to be finalized — the renderings shared are illustrative.

Will a residential building be part of the project?

No, we have removed the residential tower on Park Avenue from our plan.

How many beds will now be included?

Our plan will allow for 475 single-bedded patient rooms, compared to the 172 today. The overall bed count will increase by 25 beds, from 450 to 475 beds, ensuring every patient has access to improved health outcomes and a dignified experience.

How will your plans impact the community?

Lenox Hill Hospital has prioritized ensuring that we can continue to serve our patients throughout the construction process and minimize impacts on patients who rely on the hospital’s care. We are working diligently with a highly qualified and experienced team to minimize the timeframe for construction and its impacts to the maximum extent practicable. We are also committed to regularly updating our neighbors and patients as the project progresses so that the community can be aware of what to expect. 

As part of the land use process, the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will fully examine the impacts of construction, including effects on traffic and transportation, air quality, noise and hazardous materials. Significant adverse impacts will be identified, as will any practicable mitigation for those impacts.

Does your revised plan still include upgrades to the subway station?

Yes, our plan includes planned upgrades for the southbound platform of the 77th Street station, including off-street ADA accessibility and a larger stairway.

Will this plan improve the flow of traffic?

As part of the revitalization, the hospital seeks to improve traffic flow during the hospital’s busiest times. The revised plan for the hospital will reduce ambulance traffic on 77th Street and include a new receiving area to properly receive trucks on 76th Street.

How tall will it be now?

The updated proposal lowers the height of the building along Lexington Avenue by about 80 feet from the original plan to a total height of 436 feet. We listened closely to the community’s concerns about building height and are committed to delivering a plan that works for residents in the Lenox Hill area.

How long will this project take to complete?

We currently estimate there will be nine years of construction, with the construction occurring at various locations around the site, followed by two years of internal work at the facility. We are committed to open and timely communication and will update the community, patients, physicians and staff with more information on the exact timing as it becomes available.

What’s happening on 3rd Avenue and 77th Street?

In 2021, Northwell Health unveiled its plans for the Northwell Medical Pavilion–77th Street. The modern 15-floor, 200,000-square-foot outpatient complex will offer world-class care that’s anchored by innovative programs of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute—but its services will go way beyond oncology.  The pavilion will also house cardiac care, neuroscience, imaging and lab testing, as well as holistic wellness services, acute and chronic disease management, social work services and more.

The Northwell Medical Pavilion–77th Street is a standalone project independent of Lenox Hill Hospital. Its services will complement those provided within our Northwell Health network in Manhattan. For example, surgery and inpatient care will continue to be provided by neighboring hospitals, including Lenox Hill Hospital. More information about the pavilion project can be found here: http://northwell.edu/77stpavilion