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Lenox Hill Hospital explores major revitalization plans

An artist rendering of the proposed Lenox Hill Hospital renewal plan.
An artist rendering of the proposed Lenox Hill Hospital renewal plan.

Plan includes private patient rooms, expanded ED, new surgical suites

New York, NY —

To match investments it has made in recruiting nationally recognized physicians and expanding clinical programs, Lenox Hill Hospital today announced it is preparing a comprehensive renewal plan aimed at ensuring the future success of the storied acute-care facility on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The goal is to create a new purpose-built Lenox Hill Hospital that will feature all single-bedded patient rooms, an expanded emergency department, new surgical suites and other larger clinical spaces. Plans also call for a new outpatient care center on Third Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, improvements to the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital on E. 64th Street, and other ambulatory expansions in Manhattan.

As Northwell Health’s flagship hospital in Manhattan, Lenox Hill Hospital has delivered world-class clinical care since its founding in 1857 and currently treats more than 163,000 patients annually. However, several of its 10 buildings were erected more than a century ago and although Northwell Health has invested more than $200 million in capital improvements since Lenox Hill Hospital joined the 23-hospital health system in 2010 and continues to make upgrades, the buildings are not configured to deliver care efficiently and it’s increasingly inefficient to maintain the aging facility.

“Lenox Hill Hospital is one of the most storied institutions in Manhattan, serving communities throughout the city for more than 160 years,” said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health. “This revitalization plan is the next step in ensuring Lenox Hill Hospital’s continued success and underscores Northwell Health’s commitment to meeting the health needs of New Yorkers for generations to come.”

To help finance the multi-billion-dollar project, hospital planners are looking at incorporating a new residential building -- a strategy that has served as a lifeline for many cherished New York not-for-profit health, educational, religious and cultural institutions.

Hospital needs drive renewal plan

Key program elements driving the need for the new hospital 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.
  • 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 significantly expand its existing 14,300 square-foot emergency department to meet growing volume and improve the patient experience.
  • Mother-Baby Hospital: Building on Lenox Hill’s rich history of maternity services, the hospital is looking 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.

Revitalization plan would occur in stages

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.

“We’re extraordinarily proud of the hard-working staff and the latest medical technology that have earned Lenox Hill a national reputation for excellence and made it an iconic New York institution,” said Jill Kalman, M.D., executive director of Lenox Hill Hospital. “But the hospital is comprised of 10 separate, aging buildings stitched together over roughly 100 years. They are simply not configured and equipped to effectively deliver the next generation of care. We’re developing plans that would enable us to continue to deliver premier clinical care in one of the most thoughtful, highly-configured hospitals in the country that can adapt to the changes in modern medicine.”

The Lenox Hill Hospital revitalization plan would occur in stages. Throughout all phases of the project, the hospital will remain open and operational, and maintain the same level of care. Lenox Hill Hospital is committed to open communication throughout the planning process and hospital staff will regularly engage with all interested members of the community.

Since entering Manhattan nine years ago, Northwell has established nearly 80 outpatient facilities, in addition to Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital and the 160,000 square-foot Lenox Health Greenwich Village facility, which houses Manhattan’s first and only freestanding Emergency Center, imaging and ambulatory surgery centers and a medical pavilion.

For more information, sign up for updates and follow the project by visiting: https://www.renewinglenox.org/

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