FOREST HILLS, NY – Forest Hills Hospital on Tuesday unveiled its newly renovated lobby, a $2.2 million upgrade that is part of a $12 million investment that the North Shore-LIJ Health System is making to meet the future health needs of Queens residents.
More than 100 hospital staff and community leaders attended a reception Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the hospital’s new entry way, which features a redesigned admitting office, pre-surgical testing unit, an enlarged waiting area and a serenity garden.
“Having a welcoming environment like this makes a big difference for patients, family members and other visitors from the community,” said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which is the largest provider of healthcare in Queens.
Mr. Dowling was joined at the ribbon-cutting by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, a resident of Forest Hills who praised the new lobby and the health system’s dedication to healthcare in the community. “This is a hospital that is desperately needed in our community,” she said. “Folks can walk to this hospital and that’s a very important part of our community here in Forest Hills, where we have a very large senior population.”
One of the most ethnically diverse areas of the country, with approximately 160 languages spoken, the borough of Queens has had three hospitals close in recent years – Parkway, Mary Immaculate and St. John’s.
“We’ve seen the number of patients seen in our ER increase from 32,000 to about 50,000 last year,” said Rita Mercieca, executive director of Forest Hills. In addition to meeting those increased patient needs, Forest Hills has also acquired prestigious accolades for its cancer program, bariatric center and stroke care, as well as Joint Commission Top Performer for quality measures, she said.
While $2.2 million was spent on the new lobby, the remainder of the $12 million earmarked for renovations at the hospital will go toward improvements in the intensive care unit, operating rooms and maternity unit over the next year, according to Ms. Mercieca.
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Forest Hills Hospital is a member of North Shore-LIJ Health System. As a 252-bed community hospital located in an ethnically diverse residential neighborhood in northern Queens, it provides high quality and compassionate healthcare with sensitivity and respect for the cultural needs of patients and their families. The hospital’s emergency department treats about 50,000 patients a year.
Forest Hills offers general surgery, bloodless medicine and surgery, bariatric surgery, orthopaedics, gynecology, advanced gastroenterology services, emergency care, lung health screening, on-site and through a vast array of affiliated medical staff. The hospital’s Women's New Life Center features labor-delivery-recovery suites for new moms and their families, and our Multispecialty Center, 95-25 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park offers affordable, high-quality outpatient healthcare. For more information, go to http://www.northshorelij.com/hospitals/location/forest-hills