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South Nassau Communities Hospital completes first phase of Emergency Department expansion

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One of the region’s largest medical centers is getting bigger this month: South Nassau Communities Hospital opened a 10-bed addition to its Oceanside campus’ Emergency Department last week, capping the first phase of a $60 million expansion project.

Occupying a space that was previously used for storage, the additional beds will help maintain emergency services as other areas of the department are renovated and expanded.

“This is the first step in our plan to increase efficiency and enhance quality of care to effectively meet the needs of the communities we serve,” South Nassau President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Murphy said in a news release. “It will help patients who visit the ED have a more comfortable and less stressful experience.”

South Nassau’s Emergency Department was designed to accommodate 35,000 patients, but currently serves around 65,000 annually. When the multi-phase expansion is complete, the 16,000 square-foot space will nearly double in size and have the capacity to serve roughly 80,000 patients per year.

The hospital is in the midst of a capital campaign designed to raise $10 million from supporters and the community to help fund the $60 million cost of the expansion. The five-year campaign has raised $6.9 million to date.

“We’re putting the funds we have raised from donors to work with this 10-bed addition, which will have an immediate impact on improving the patient experience,” said Joseph Fennessy, chairman of South Nassau’s Board of Directors in the release. “We have much more to do, but it’s gratifying to see the first phase of our plans come to fruition.”

The newly completed space features semi-private treatment bays designed to facilitate clear lines of sight between doctors, nurses and patients. Additionally they are furnished with cardiac monitors, bedside laboratory testing capability and individual high-definition TVs. A dedicated waiting area for families and loved ones was also added, as well as restrooms and access to free Wi-Fi.

“The Emergency Department is really our front door,” Murphy added. “Some 75 percent of all our inpatients come through the ED. It is undersized for the number of patients we see every year, which is why we are so focused on expanding and improving this space.”