City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) and Elmhurst Hospital Center officials broke ground Tuesday on a women’s health center that will provide a wide array of services, including gynecology and prenatal care, to the institution’s increasing number of female patients.
“We’re growing, and a problem we have is a lack of space,” said Elmhurst Hospital Center Chief Executive Officer Chris Constantino. “We’ve had about 15 percent more volume in our women’s health service program. This center will be a big help.”
Sears helped to secure $8.5 million for the project, which is scheduled to be finished in 2012. The hospital has also received $4 million from the state and $2 million from the city Health and Hospitals Corp.’s capital budget.
“This center will make it easy for women to seek health care because everything will be under one roof,” Sears said. “We want to make sure women feel comfortable in seeking treatment. We want them to know how to take care of themselves.”
The pavilion will be on the south side of 41st Avenue between 78th and 79th streets. The 21,000-square-foot building will house a variety of women’s health services, including gynecology, gynecological surgery, pregnancy and HIV testing and counseling, prenatal care, high-risk pregnancy monitoring and classes in breast-feeding, childbirth, nutrition and coping with diabetes.
Constantino said the center will help the hospital’s growing number of patients, especially in light of the closure of St. John’s Hospital last February. Since the Elmhurst-based St. John’s shuttered its doors, the hospital has seen a 10 percent spike in the number of primary care patients it admits as well as a jump in the number of women coming to the institution, according to Constantino.
Jasmin Moshirpur, medical director and dean for the dean for Elmhurst Hospital at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said Elmhurst does more than 4,000 deliveries a year.
“On average, every woman visits the hospital seven to 10 times during their pregnancy,” Moshirpur said. “There’s overcrowding in the women’s area. Overcrowding discourages patients from coming, and this will help patient satisfaction and bring more women to the hospital.”
Ann Sullivan, senior vice president of the Queens Health Network, said the center will play a crucial role in the community.
“Women need easy access to all kinds of preventative and wellness programs,” Sullivan said. “Women throughout the community under-utilize health programs .%u2026 This will allow us to provide for the women of this community.”
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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