Bay Ridge

Expansion planned for NYU Lutheran

New ambulatory surgery site on drawing board

September 22, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Joseph Lhota, senior vice president of NYU Langone, came to Community Board 10 on Monday to tell District Manager Josephine Beckmann and board members about plans to expand NYU Lutheran Medical Center. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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NYU Langone Health System, which has been overseeing the former Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park since the two health care institutions merged, has big plans for the Brooklyn site, according to a top official who said the hospital will be expanded.

Joseph Lhota, who ran for mayor as a Republican in 2013 and who is now the senior vice president and chief of staff at NYU Langone, spoke at a Community Board 10 meeting Monday night and revealed ambitious plans to expand the main campus of the hospital that is now called NYU Lutheran Medical Center.

“Changes are coming,” Lhota told Board 10 at the meeting, which took place at Shore Hill at 9000 Shore Road.

The plans include adding more space to the main hospital building at 150 55th St. and constructing a new ambulatory and out-patient facility in a site where a parking lot is now located on 56th Street between First and Second avenues. The new ambulatory center is needed, according to Lhota, who said the delivery of health care is rapidly changing across the U.S.

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“You’re not going to stay in the hospital as long as you used to,” said Lhota, who is also vice dean at NYU Langone.

The ambulatory surgery center would be connected to the main hospital via a bridge to be constructed, according to Lhota, who said an underground tunnel will also be built. NYU Langone also plans to expand the NYU Lutheran Health Centers Sunset Park, a clinic located at 5610 Second Ave. The goal is to deliver to Brooklyn residents excellent medical care right in their backyard, Lhota said.

“You don’t have to go across the river to get it,” Lhota said, referring to the fact that many patients prefer to seek non-emergency treatment in Manhattan medical facilities under the belief that those health centers are superior to their Brooklyn counterparts.

While NYU Langone is excited about the plans, Lhota cautioned that it’s early in the process.

“It has to go to the City Planning Commission,” he said.

NYU Langone would have to win the approval of the City Planning Commission before moving forward with construction. Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to improve patient care at NYU Lutheran, according to Dr. Bret Rudy, the executive hospital director and senior vice president.

Rudy said NYU Lutheran has employed the use of a surgical robot for certain types of procedures and has revamped its record keeping through the use of an electronic health record keeping system called EPIC. EPIC allows information to flow smoothly among the main hospital and all 22 of its satellite clinics around Brooklyn, he said. The new system is important, said Rudy, because it reduces the chances of miscommunication or repetitions of medical tests.

“Everyone sees the same records. You can’t underestimate how powerful this has been,” he told Board 10.

EPIC also allows patients to have access to their medical records online, according to Rudy, who said patients can also look up test results, contact their physicians and make appointments. In addition to the other changes, the hospital has worked hard to reduce waiting times in the emergency room, Rudy and Lhota said. Lhota also said NYU Langone has a ferry service that operates between its Sunset Park and Manhattan facilities to transport doctors back and forth.

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