"The residents of Queens will be better served by this exceptional hospital that has dedicated itself more deeply to the community with the expansion of its facilities and its cancer center," Maloney said, after handing an over-sized check to hospital directors. Chief Operating Officer John Gupta called the funds "seed money" for projects he expected to begin by the end of the year. He said the multimillion-dollar project will be funded with public and private funds. He did not have a cost estimate."We're really in the planning stages," he said. Staff oncologists currently give chemotherapy and infusions to cancer victims in a clinic across the street from the hospital at 25-10 30th Ave. in Long Island City, Gupta said. The cancer center will expand their services with imaging and consultations "to really follow the patients through the different stages of cancer," he said. Mt. Sinai is a 253-bed non-profit hospital that treated 40,000 patients in its emergency room last year. It is the primary health care provider in Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and Sunnyside. Elmhurst Hospital is three miles away in Elmhurst.Still, Maloney said most patients go to Manhattan for cancer care. That should change with the expansions, she said. "Our goal is to make sure they can access it right here," she said. After the presentation, Maloney toured the hospital's renovated emergency room. The $6 million face-lift added patient monitoring equipment, EKG machines and new registration, triage and radiology areas.Maloney praised the upgrades. "I feel like it's my hospital," she said. "I think it's one of the jewels of our community."Gupta said the hospital has needed to expand because the population in Long Island City/Astoria has increased by roughly 20 percent in the past five years, she said. Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at news@times
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