$60M Expansion Project Triples Size of Southside Hospital Emergency Department

Leaders from Northwell Health and Southside Hospital joined with John and Linda Bohlsen and their family members, center, to celebrate the opening of Southside’s Bohlsen Family Emergency Department.

BAY SHORE, NY – Southside Hospital today unveiled the newly expanded Bohlsen Family Emergency Department to more than 150 local community, business and elected officials.

The $60 million project, made possible by the generosity of John and Linda Bohlsen, adds 30,000 square feet of new space, tripling the size of the facility to care for the more than 70,000 patients currently treated by Southside’s emergency and trauma teams each year. An additional $16 million will be invested in phase two of the project, which includes renovating the existing emergency department (ED), increasing the size of the ED by another 20,000 square feet.

When fully completed in November 2017, the Bohlsen Family Emergency Department will be 50,000 square feet and capable of handling up to 100,000 emergency visits annually, which should cut waiting times in half, according to John D’Angelo, MD, senior vice president, executive director and char of emergency medicine at Northwell Health.

The new facility, scheduled to open to the public on September 13, will feature 94 treatment rooms. The first phase of the ED expansion that was celebrated today features a new entrance on the hospital’s south side, four intake rooms for rapid assessment, 14 new general treatment rooms, new treatment areas dedicated to obstetrics/gynecology patients and those who are morbidly obese, a six-bed behavioral health unit and a new helicopter landing pad. 

The second phase of the project will feature five isolation rooms with a decontamination suite, a critical care/trauma area, a new X-ray and computed tomography (CT) suite, a new 16-bed clinical decision/observation unit and a new seven-bed pediatric unit. 

“This new space will also bring a new way of treating patients,” explained Donna Moravick, RN, NP, executive director of Southside. “Patients will be triaged immediately and begin to receive their care, including laboratory tests or imaging scans, much sooner. Patients will also be separated based on their acuity, so people with less-serious injuries will not have to wait in the same cue behind a serious trauma case.”

To highlight the expertise of Southside emergency and trauma staff, Lauren Spencer, 30, of Bay Shore, returned to the hospital today with her husband Bryan and 14-month-old daughter Bryanna to thank the medical team that saved her life. Ms. Spencer suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm (abnormal artery bulge that burst open) while driving to Southside last summer to visit Bryanna (born five weeks premature) in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. “If I had not received expert medical treatment in the quick manner that I did, I wouldn’t be here to care for and enjoy being with my daughter and family,” she said.


The ED expansion project is the latest investment by Northwell Health aimed at establishing Southside as Suffolk County’s premier health care destination, said Michael Dowling, Northwell’s president and chief executive officer. Five years ago, the health system established a cardiothoracic surgery program at Southside that has provided life-saving cardiac care to about 2,000 patients. Northwell has also invested heavily in Southside’s trauma capabilities, which led to the American College of Surgeons verifying the hospital as a level two adult trauma center. “With SkyHealth, our emergency helicopter transport service, trauma patients can be flown here to Southside or other Northwell Health hospitals in a matter of minutes, saving valuable time that can often mean the difference between life and death,” Mr. Dowling said.

Mark Claster, chair of Northwell’s Board of Trustees, noted that Southside’s transformation would not have been possible without the support of the Bohlsens and other supporters. “The Bohlsens believe in Southside’s mission and saw a critical need to expand its emergency department years ago,” he said. “The Bohlsen Family Emergency Department has been years in the making. We are glad to see that their vision for expanded emergency care is finally becoming a reality.”