NEW HYDE PARK, NY – Hundreds of supporters of Cohen Children’s Medical Center recently celebrated the upcoming opening of a new $130 million pavilion that will house the region’s largest, dedicated pediatric emergency department and 50 additional beds, further enhancing the hospital’s reputation as the leading provider of children’s health services in the metropolitan area.
The six-story, 115,000-square-foot facility doubles the size of Cohen’s Emergency Department to 30 beds and two trauma bays, and expands the number of beds in its pediatric intensive care unit to a capacity of 37. The new pavilion also contains shell space for pediatric operating rooms. The expansion was especially important in meeting community needs, considering that Cohen is one of only two pediatric trauma centers in the New York area and the number of emergency visits has jumped by more than 20 percent in the past five years to over 40,000 children annually.
The new facility, scheduled to open April 22, also includes the lowest radiation dose computed tomography (CT) scanner, a dedicated pediatric-only pharmacy and 25 additional medical-surgical beds -- all private rooms to accommodate parents and loved ones. In total, the expansion increases the bed capacity of the children’s hospital to more than 190.
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“Alex and I are committed to helping sick children get well and we are very pleased that the Cohen Pediatric Center will help innumerable Long Island families and their children heal,” said benefactor Steven Cohen. The children’s hospital was named in honor of his wife Alexandra and him in 2010, after their $50 million pledge enabled the new pavilion to be built.
“This pavilion is an exciting new chapter in the illustrious 30-year history of what is truly becoming a world-class children’s hospital,” said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, of which Cohen Children’s is a member.
“We stand as a beacon of hope for the communities in the New York Metropolitan area and beyond,” said Kevin McGeachy, executive director of Cohen Children’s. “Last year alone we received transfers of more than 2,500 patients from more than 100 hospitals throughout the New York metropolitan region.”
Charles Schleien, MD, chair of pediatrics, said the expansion of the hospital’s emergency department and pediatric ICU (PICU) will have a dramatic impact on the delivery of pediatric care in the community. “Obviously, the idea of bringing their child to an emergency room or intensive care unit is traumatic for the parents as well as the patients,” he said. ”Great care was placed in the design of this new facility.” For example, the new PICU has been designed as a forest, with custom floor patterns, mosaic murals of wildlife and unique staff stations. To add to their comfort while visiting, each private patient room contains a dedicated parent area.
The expanded medical-surgical unit has been designed as a mountain ecosystem. Tracks of mountain animals crisscross the floor, encouraging discovery and play. Rooms designed with families in mind have a sleeper sofa and two televisions in each patient room (one for the patient, one for family) and a gaming system for the child. Each unit will provide family focused amenities such as shower facilities, free WiFi, a parent/family lounge and a dedicated playroom for patients.
This modern facility would not have been possible without the generosity and vision of Steven and Alexandra Cohen, who have enjoyed a 17-year-relationship with the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Prior to the $50 million gift that led to the renaming of the Children’s Hospital in March 2010, the Cohen Foundation donated $7 million to North Shore-LIJ to build a new ambulatory pediatric chemotherapy unit at the children’s hospital and to establish an endowment called the Philip Lanzkowsky, MD, Professorship in Pediatrics. Dr. Lanzkowsky, the long-time executive director of the hospital, was one of more than 200 supporters to attend the dedication of the new facility.
The opening of this new facility marks a crowning achievement in the history of the hospital, which celebrates its 30th anniversary of service to the community since its official opening in 1983.