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 particularly well known for excellence in cardiovascular disease, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, maternal/child health and internal medicine. The hospital has a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. Lenox Hill Hospital ranks among the top 10 hospitals in the New York metropolitan area and the entire state, according to US News’ analysis of more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide. The hospital’s neurosurgery team was the subject of the highly-acclaimed Netflix docudrama “Lenox Hill.” Click here to learn more about Lenox Hill Hospital’s long history and medical accomplishments.
Who does Lenox Hill Hospital serve?
- We are proud to be part of such a dynamic community and celebrate the hospital’s long history in providing for the Lenox Hill community. Lenox Hill Hospital is and has been a hospital serving both the local and citywide community.
- Northwell Health is deeply committed to New York City. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Northwell has treated more than 93,000 COVID-19 patients, roughly 20% of all COVID-19 patients in New York State — and more than any other health system in the country. Northwell also played a critical role in staffing temporary facilities, like the Javits Center and set up dozens of testing centers for first responders, including nurses, police, firefighters, employees of the corrections department, the MTA, and more, in addition to establishing testing centers at 84 churches across the city in vulnerable and highly impacted communities.
- Northwell Health recently joined 39 other health systems across the country to declare racism as a public health crisis. 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. Also this year, Northwell Health was 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 a decade ago to guide and accelerate the health system’s efforts to eliminate health disparities and deliver culturally sensitive care.
- Lenox Hill Hospital provides top-tier care to all patients. Lenox Hill Hospital has a diverse patient population, with over 56% of patients in 2019 being non-white, and has experienced an increase in Medicaid patients since joining the Northwell Health system. Approximately 50% of Lenox Hill Hospital’s patients use government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, in line with the payor populations at peer institutions across New York City.
What is the current status of the project?
- Last year, we kicked off a process to renew this historic institution. Comprised of ten separate buildings, with several erected more than a century ago, the buildings are simply not configured or properly purposed to effectively deliver the next generation of care.
- Over several months, we presented our initial plans to Community Board 8 and we participated in a task force review convened by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and led by Councilmember Keith Powers. We are again currently engaged with the task force.
- We are planning 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, both regionally and nationally for years to come. Importantly, our revised plan draws from best practices learned during our fight against COVID-19 to create an optimal, pandemic-ready clinical environment.
Why are you rebuilding Lenox Hill Hospital? What are your goals for the renewal?
- We are planning to revitalize Lenox Hill into a hospital ready to care for future generations. This will ensure the hospital remains at the forefront of clinical care, both regionally and nationally for years to come.
- The current facility, part of which dates back to the 1900s, does not meet current clinical care demands. The new facility will be a purpose-built hospital featuring all single-bedded patient rooms, a right-sized emergency department, new surgical suites and other larger clinical spaces.
- A revitalized Lenox Hill Hospital will allow us to continue providing top-tier care to all patients. Lenox Hill Hospital has a diverse patient population, with over 56% of patients in 2019 being non-white, and has experienced an increase in Medicaid patients since joining the Northwell Health system. Approximately 50% of Lenox Hill Hospital’s patients use government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your design?
- The COVID-19 pandemic confirms the need for a state-of-the-art hospital that we laid out in our original plan. Health care facilities need to be purpose-built hospitals that feature patient care areas including surgical suites and other interventional spaces, emergency departments that are large enough to properly meet the population’s needs, and single-bedded patient rooms that allow for a better patient experience and improved staff work areas and workflow. Outside of the current COVID-19 health crisis, these changes will become increasingly important as more health care procedures continue to become outpatient in nature, leaving hospitals to provide more intensive health care procedures and treatments.
- COVID-19 is an unprecedented health crisis that has challenged health care facilities across the world, and health care professionals are fully stepping up to provide the best treatment possible for hundreds of thousands of patients. As we continue to navigate this crisis, we have learned a lot about how health care facilities can be designed to handle not only pressing health care needs but respond to seen and unforeseen future crises.
- Planned upgrades include:
- Clear boundaries between infectious and noninfectious areas: The hospital will be designed so that clear boundaries separate an infectious part of the hospital and a noninfectious part of the hospital, allowing the hospital to respond to patients during a pandemic while still being able to provide routine and emergency care in a dedicated noninfectious area and not disrupt or delay non-infectious surgical, medical, obstetric, or emergency care.
- Single-bedded patient rooms: Like most modern hospitals, Lenox Hill is looking to move away from multi-bedded rooms. Our plan for having single-bedded rooms has not changed. We will convert all rooms to single-bedded patient rooms, which will give greater privacy to patients and their families, reduce the risk of infections, and improve staff workflow. Single-bedded patient rooms can be transitioned to double-bedded capacity during a surge in patient demand. Patient rooms will be large enough to allow for enhanced satellite nursing stations, which will facilitate safer monitoring of patients by bringing the nurser closer to the patient’s bedside.
- Clean cores: The new inpatient building will be designed with a pressurized “clean core” that facilitates the use of bed floors to treat highly infectious patients requiring isolation while allowing safe staff access. Spaces adjacent to elevator lobbies will be repurposed for donning and doffing of PPE for staff entering and leaving the patient areas during a pandemic or isolation emergency, allowing for one-way flow on and off the unit. Nurse stations, staff support areas, and service elevators will be integrated into the clean core to allow staff to support and monitor patients without having to enter the unit. Patients will be able to be transported throughout the hospital in elevators outside of the clean core.
- Operating rooms: Plans call for expanding the size and number of operating rooms to accommodate new and emerging technology and equipment, streamline operational efficiency and improve patient and staff experiences.
- Expanded emergency department: Emergency departments need to be large enough to handle the needs of their populations while providing privacy and much-needed space in times of crisis. Before COVID-19, our emergency department was treating 56,000 patients annually. During the pandemic, it became especially clear that our current emergency department is too small. The hospital is looking to right-size its existing 14,300 square-foot emergency department to meet and improve the patient experience. Our revised plan expands the emergency department and provides private patient rooms that can treat two patients during surge events, areas for monitoring, and a large-scale exterior triage zone to separate patients for infectious and noninfectious hospital areas during a health care crisis.
What did you learn about the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how will the proposed emergency department be better equipped?
- The pandemic confirmed our previous experiences: Our current emergency department is too small for everyday use, and this became especially pronounced during the pandemic.
- 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.
What will the hospital look like?
- We are committed to developing an architectural character for the project that is both aspirational and contemporary while using materials and colors that speak to the historical context of the Upper East Side. Currently, our images are illustrative, to support the ULURP process, which is meant to define the area and bulk of the project.
Will a residential building be part of the project?
- No, we have removed the residential building from our plan. The original reason for the residential building was to help offset construction costs. However, the residential building was never a priority — the hospital has always been our top priority. We have heard the community’s feedback loud and clear, and we are removing the residential building on Park Avenue.
How many beds will now be included?
- Like our previous plan, our plan allows for 475 patient rooms.
How will your plans impact the community?
- Since 2010, Northwell Health has invested over $275 million to renovate the hospital. During this time, we mitigated the impact this renovation — much of which was interior — had on the public. By focusing on renovation, our new plan will also have a reduced impact on the community by shortening the length of construction.
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 a fully accessible entrance and elevators to the track level.
Will this plan improve the flow of traffic?
- As part of the revitalization, the hospital is seeking to improve traffic congestion during the hospital’s busiest times. The revised plan for the hospital will reduce ambulance traffic on E. 77th Street and will include new loading docks to properly receive trucks on 76th Street.
Does Lenox Hill Hospital plan to continue operating during construction and will there be any adjustments to operations to accommodate construction?
- Yes, Lenox Hill will remain open and fully operational at the same level of care. Lenox Hill is a major economic generator and employer for the community, and we’re committed to keeping these important jobs intact and continuing to provide the best possible care for our patients during this challenging time.
How tall will it be now?
- We have listened closely to the community during the past task force meetings and are committed to delivering a plan that works for all Lenox Hill residents.
- We are committed to developing an architectural character for the project that is both aspirational and contemporary while using materials and colors that speak to the historical context of the Upper East Side.
- We have done everything we can to reduce the height and still have a medical facility that will serve the community in the future. The revised plan lowers the height of the Lexington Avenue building by about 80 feet from the original plan, to a total height of 436 feet. While we are reducing the height, the project will still need to go through the public land use review process for zoning changes.
How long will this project take to complete?
- In our last plan, exterior work was taking place throughout all three phases. In our revised plan, we consolidate the exterior work so that it is just within the first 6 to 6-1/2 years, which is about 2-1/2 to three years shorter than in our prior plan.
- We are committed to open and timely communication and will update the community, patients, physicians and staff with more information on exact timing as it becomes available.
What’s happening on 3rd Avenue?
- Much of our planning for the site was put on pause as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re back on track and our working schedule for this project is approximately three years with construction starting in late 2021.
- The project will host medical office space and imaging with retail on the ground floor. This project will not be a receiving point for ambulances, will not include parking, and will not include inpatient beds.
- The building is currently in a preliminary design phase and we’ll continue to keep the community updated on progress.