FAQ

What is Lenox Hill Hospital’s impact on healthcare 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. We’re also a recognized leader in public health education and community outreach. Lenox Hill Hospital is ranked one of the top five hospitals in New York State. Click here to learn more about Lenox Hill Hospital’s long history and medical accomplishments.

 

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

  • Comprised of ten separate buildings, with several erected more than a century ago, the buildings are simply not configured and equipped to effectively deliver the next generation of care.
  • 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.
  • This new facility will be a purpose-built hospital that will feature all single-bedded patient rooms, a right-sized emergency department, new surgical suites and other larger clinical spaces. Planned upgrades include:
    • Patient Rooms: Like most modern hospitals, Lenox Hill is looking to move away from multi-bedded rooms. Plans call for converting to all single-bedded patient rooms, which will give greater privacy to patients and their families, reduce the risk of infections and improve staff workflow. The goal of the project is NOT to increase the number of hospital beds at Lenox – in fact the bed count will remain within the same range as the current hospital. The revitalization instead allows for single-bedded patient rooms for our entire patient population. These rooms will be available to all patients and will not result in additional charges to patients or their insurance providers. 
    • 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.
    • Emergency Department: Currently treating about 56,000 emergency patients annually, the hospital is looking to right-size its existing, 14,300 square-foot emergency department to meet and improve the patient experience.
    • Mother-Baby Hospital: Building on Lenox Hill’s rich history of maternity services, we will look to establish a dedicated “mother-baby” hospital to accommodate mothers and family members in an elegant, private setting. With its own separate entrance, the facility would feature an expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a range of obstetrics and gynecology (Ob-Gyn) services, including more labor and delivery suites, newborn nurseries and other specialty services. Northwell Health is a leader in maternity services, delivering approximately 1% of all babies nationwide.

 

How will a revitalized Lenox Hill Hospital benefit New Yorkers from all incomes and backgrounds?

  • 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 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.
  • Northwell Health is a dedicated community partner. According to the Health Association of New York State, Lenox Hill Hospital provides an estimated $153 million a year in community benefits and investments. These community benefits and investments include covering the cost of care for people in need, subsidizing care and services to low-income, elderly and under-served communities and investing in community health initiatives.

 

How will a revitalized Lenox Hill Hospital benefit the community and fulfill its mission as a not-for-profit hospital?

  • Lenox Hill Hospital takes its responsibility as a community resource seriously. In addition to hosting support groups that counsel patients and family members dealing with serious health conditions, the hospital regularly hosts events ranging from health fairs and conferences to community board meetings and community resource fairs. A rebuilt Lenox Hill Hospital will be designed to expand this critical work, focusing on everything from creating shared, programmable community spaces to a more welcoming and accessible streetscape.
  • Northwell Health is a major economic generator and employer, with more than 24,555 employees residing in New York City. Approximately 2,000 community members in the Lenox Hill area are part of a household where at least one family member is employed by Northwell Health. Lenox Hill Hospital brings countless employees, patients and families to the community every day, further supporting local businesses. According to the Health Association of New York State, Lenox Hill Hospital generates over $2 billion in economic activity and $472 million in tax-dollars.

 

Why not renovate?

  • Since 2010, Northwell Health has invested over $275 million to upgrade the hospital, yet it still isn’t configured and equipped to effectively deliver the next generation of care. Increasing costs to maintain the outdated facility makes it exorbitantly expensive to continue to deliver the highest quality care.

 

Why is this the best plan for Lenox? 

  • At the outset of this process, Northwell Health partnered with Sg2, a premier healthcare consultant, to undertake a rigorous, multi-year strategic planning effort establishing the clinical programs and services that need to be located at the hospital. This planning work looked years ahead using analytics and extensive consultation with Lenox Hill Hospital’s expert nurses, doctors and staff. This research serves as the foundation for the hospital’s ongoing design work and drives the overall size and shape of the proposed hospital.
  • Since 2010, when Northwell partnered with Lenox Hill Hospital, there’s been an increased demand for inpatient services at the hospital, counter to the city-wide trend of decreasing discharges. The comprehensive clinical programs we are planning for the future hospital incorporates this growth, along with historical data and an industry trend analysis.

 

How will this plan impact traffic congestion?

  • As part of the revitalization, the hospital is also seeking to dramatically improve traffic congestion during the hospital’s busiest times. Currently, the 77th Street entrance to the hospital’s emergency department exposes patients to vehicular traffic, bikes and pedestrians. In addition, the hospital’s loading docks cannot fully accommodate trucks periodically leading to blocked sidewalks. While the approximate number of patient beds will not be increased, a comprehensive environmental impact statement will be prepared to study all project impacts.

 

How are you going to keep the community in the loop about the project?

  • We are at the beginning of the process and are committed to open communication. With that in mind, we will move thoughtfully through the process, updating the community, patients, physicians and staff and engaging with stakeholders, elected officials and both the Upper East Side and citywide communities as we explore ways to preserve the highest possible standard of care for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.
  • After the project’s announcement in early March 2019, we launched this website, RenewingLenox.org, for people to learn about the project and stay updated. We invite you to stay informed about project updates, announcements and upcoming events by singing up for our email list here.
  • We presented at Community Board 8’s March and September 2019 Zoning and Development Committee meetings and hosted an open house event in September 2019 for community members to learn more about the project and tour the project site.
  • We will be organizing a series of working groups in the months to come – if you are interested in participating, please email us at RenewingLenox@northwell.edu. We look forward to an ongoing dialogue and continuing to work together as our plans progress.
  • We have dedicated a Lenox Hill executive leader, Joshua Strugatz, Vice President of Manhattan Redevelopment, to serve as the hospital’s liaison who will field questions and provide updates to the community. You can also email RenewingLenox@northwell.edu or call 212-434-4360 with further inquiries.

 

Why is there a residential building in this plan?

  • The proposed hospital will ensure that Lenox Hill continues to provide critical, world-class healthcare for generations to come. Realizing this vision will require a substantial financial investment, which cannot be achieved without monetization of a portion of the hospital’s valuable real estate.
  • This strategy has served as a lifeline for many cherished New York not-for-profit health, educational, religious and cultural institutions, including Beth Israel’s upcoming rebuild in Gramercy, Union Theological Seminary’s restoration in Morningside Heights, Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Heights branch reconstruction and St. Patrick Cathedral’s preservation. Each was able to leverage its real estate to secure its future.

 

How many more beds and/or patients will you be able to accommodate?

  • Like most modern hospitals, Lenox Hill is looking to move away from multi-bedded rooms. Plans call for converting to all single-bedded patient rooms, which will give greater privacy to patients and their families, reduce the risk of infections and improve staff workflow. The goal of the project is NOT to increase the number of hospital beds at Lenox – in fact the bed count will remain within the same range as the current hospital. The revitalization instead allows for single-bedded patient rooms for our entire patient population. These rooms in a rebuilt Lenox Hill will be available to all patients and will not result in additional charges to patients or their insurance providers.

 

What are your plans for construction impacts on the community?

  • We are still very early in the planning and approval process for this important project. Lenox Hill Hospital is committed to a transparent construction process with signage and regular updates. We will engage in numerous discussions with the City, our neighbors, staff and other stakeholder groups.
  • We are engaging a prominent international engineering firm and construction manager who have overseen projects of similar scale to ensure the safety for all throughout the process.
  • Projects like ours are commonplace in New York City, and well-established and rigorous protocols and standards have been successfully implemented to address construction-related impacts across the city. These protocols and standards will be employed at our project, and the project will comply with New York City construction dust rules, which impose a series of requirements that are designed to control the potential release of airborne dust offsite and are enforced by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).
  • The project will also have a NYCDEP-approved Construction Health and Safety Plan that will outline project-specific measures to manage any potential health or safety risks to the surrounding community. Those measures will include, among other things, work zone and perimeter air monitoring that will function as a warning system to ensure that elevated dust levels are preemptively addressed. These practices are standard for New York City construction projects and are fully protective of the surrounding community.

 

Will hospital care be reduced during the construction? 

  • The proposed project will be implemented in phases to allow the hospital to remain open and fully operational at the same level of care.
  • We are committed to a transparent construction process, and hospital leadership will communicate clearly and regularly with staff, patients and community members via email and on our website.
  • While we recognize this will be an inconvenience for patients, neighbors and hospital staff in the interim, this revitalization will provide longer-term improvements that will benefit the entire community for years to come.

 

What will the new hospital look like and how tall will the hospital be?

  • We are committed to architecture that complements Lenox Hill Hospital’s long-time home. New York City-based Ennead Architects was selected for this project because of their deep experience designing public institutions in historic neighborhoods. EwingCole, a firm with extensive hospital design expertise, is also part of the architecture team.
  • At the outset of this process, Northwell Health partnered with Sg2, a premier healthcare consultant, to undertake a rigorous, multi-year strategic planning effort establishing the clinical programs and services that need to be located at the hospital. This planning work looked years ahead using analytics and extensive consultation with Lenox Hill Hospital’s expert nurses, doctors and staff. This research serves as the foundation for the hospital’s ongoing design work and drives the overall size and shape of the proposed hospital.
  • The physical structure must meet contemporary space standards and requirements to provide high-quality clinical care, while also providing flexibility to accommodate technology that has not yet been invented. Since 1992, Lenox Hill Hospital’s peer institutions on average have expanded 975,000 square feet to meet the regulatory requirements of modern-day hospitals like single-bedded rooms, space minimums for clinical and operating rooms, natural light requirements and intensive care/critical care ratios.
  • Since 2010, Lenox Hill Hospital has invested over $275 million in the hospital facility, but it has also been severely limited by the existing buildings and unable to grow to accommodate these new program requirements.
  • We are proposing building heights that allow us to meet our redevelopment goals and respect the scale of neighboring buildings. The buildings will include multiple setbacks. The proposed hospital building on Lexington Avenue is 516 feet including mechanical equipment. The building will setback at approximately 180 feet on Lexington Avenue, East 76th Street and East 77th Street. The proposed residential building would be located at the southwest corner of the development site and is 490 feet inclusive of mechanical equipment.

 

What is the timing of the project?

  • We are at the beginning of the process and will work closely with both the City and local elected officials over the next year as we move forward. Once the project is approved, construction will occur in phases to allow the hospital to remain open and fully operational at the same level of care.
  • Phase 1 is located along Lexington Avenue, is the most complicated part of the project, and will take approximately 6 years from start to finish. A significant amount of this work will focus solely on the interior of the building and will not be visible on the exterior.
    • Within that six-year time frame there will be about 3.5 years of construction activity that will include demolition, excavation, foundation, superstructure and enclosing the building.
    • The other 2.5 years will be interior to the building and will include preparation prior to demolition, interior fit out following enclosure and building commissioning.
  • The other phases are more straightforward and have more typical construction schedules.
    • Phase 2A is a renovation project at Park Avenue and 77th Street and will take approximately 3 years to complete, with approximately 1.5 years of structural and exterior façade work and 1.5 years of interior and commissioning work.
    • Phase 2B is a new construction and will also take approximately 3 years, with approximately 2 years of perceptible construction activities — including demolition, excavation and building the superstructure and enclosure – and approximately 1 year of internal fit-out and commissioning work.
  • The residential building will also have a roughly 2.5-3-year construction schedule expected to commence during Phase 2A.
  • 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 other projects in the neighborhood are you working on?

  • 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 committed to the Upper East Side and providing the highest quality clinical care to the community. We are continuously deepening our network by investing in and building out our Manhattan campus locations.
  • We are working on these additional projects:
    • On Third Avenue, in partnership with the University Financing Foundation (TUFF), Northwell is in the planning stages of a new building to be anchored by a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
      • The developer, TUFF, is on schedule with abatement and demolition, which is expected to be complete in early 2020. The building has not been designed, but it will be consistent with current zoning and land use policies. It is expected to be approximately 200,000 square feet.
      • We are still in the early stages and will provide updates as those plans mature and evolve. It will not be a 24-7 facility or receiving point for ambulances and emergency vehicles.
    • 115 East 75th Street is a four-story, 30,000 square foot parking garage located within the Upper East Side Historic District. The parking garage was constructed in the 1880s as a carriage house and riding academy. It has been used as a garage for most of its existence and heavily modified since its original construction. Lenox Hill recently agreed to a long-term lease for this property. Our future plan calls for an extensive exterior renovation to restore original, historic exterior details, and an interior renovation to accommodate new physician medical practices. The hospital has been working with various community groups to develop a thoughtfully designed restoration to preserve a building in a historic district.
    • Northwell is looking to modernize 122 East 76th Street, an existing mixed-use building, through interior upgrades for physician practice space.
    • Additionally, the hospital currently uses 111-115 E. 77th Street for various administrative space and clinical practice. We anticipate construction of a new building on this site to house administrative offices and publicly accessible learning and conference space, however, expect this to occur after all other projects are completed.