Mercy opens pain management center

New facility will help meet increased demand


Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre officially opened its new, state-of-the-art Center for Pain Management on March 7.

The 3,750-square-foot facility’s mission is to effectively manage chronic pain, if not eliminate it, so that patients can return to a more normal life.

The hospital previously offered pain management in a smaller location, but due to an increase in demand, it was expanded to help address the growing need to manage conditions of acute and chronic pain and to decrease the use of opiates by employing minimally invasive and non-narcotic treatments.

“Pain management is quite unique,” Joseph Manopella, Mercy Hospital’s president, said. “There are several ways to treat pain for a patient. This is really more about chronic pain, whether it’s the spine or other types of pain ailments.”

The new facility adds 3,000 square feet to the existing space, which includes two procedure rooms and 10 beds in its pre- and post-procedure areas. Hospital officials say that doctors will be better able to assess their patients’ pain, discuss the goals of care and make recommendations for cutting-edge treatments.

“We offer up a service that is a substitute in a lot of ways for patients who take opioids,” Manopella explained. “You want to be able to address the pain problem with these types of complex procedures that we do.”

The hospital offers both in-patient and outpatient treatment, which varies based on the complexity of the procedure and whether the patient has underlying comorbidities. Available specialties include trigger-point injection with ultrasound guidance, radio frequency denervation, epidural blocks, management of spinal cord stimulators and narcotic pumps, monitored anesthesia care and nerve blocks.

“This is just one more step towards excellence for this hospital to be the best hospital in Nassau County,” Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Joe (Manopella) is really working hard with all of the staff and all of the dedicated people who work in this hospital.”

In order to complete a project of this magnitude, it took Mercy years of planning and seeking the required approvals from the state to begin the development.

Manopella said that the site is located in an isolated part of the campus that allows for easy, more convenient access, especially for patients with chronic pain.

“It’s a great space for physicians and nurses looking to expand their work at Mercy Hospital,” he said. “It’s important not only in making sure patients are taken care of, but that our staff are, too.”

Claire DeSetto, director of the hospital’s perioperative services and an R.N., has been working with Mercy for the past 50 years. “It’s just beyond my wildest dreams,” DeSetto said in a video from the grand opening. “I just couldn't be happier to see this unit come to fruition.”

Manopella said that the project is part of the “renaissance” currently taking place at Mercy. “Over the next several years, we are committed to investing in services, as well as upgrading our infrastructure, that will not only make our patients and staff proud but also the communities we serve proud,” he said in a news release.

In addition to the new Pain Management Center, Mercy is currently in the process of constructing a new 16,000-square-foot medical office facility. Formerly home to a convent for the Sisters of the Congregation of Infant Jesus, the new Ambulatory and Family Care Center is expected to be completed this summer. It will provide additional space to relocate the existing outpatient women’s and children’s medical clinics from the hospital to an outpatient setting.

The new medical office space will also help enhance patient access for underserved populations, while providing new clinical services, including primary care, cardiology, endocrinology and more.

“There will be remarkable change at Mercy,” Manopella said. “We’ve only just begun to rebuild and enhance existing services that the communities we serve can take advantage of.”

The Center for Pain Management is open Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, call (516)-705-2525.