Today’s news:

$13.2 M ‘HEALs’ a lot of ills

Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) has been awarded $13.2 million in HEAL NY Phase 7 funding. The grant will support a major expansion of the medical center’s Emergency Department (ED) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“We sincerely thank Governor Paterson for recognizing Lutheran as a proven leader in community-based medical care,” said Wendy Z. Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Lutheran HealthCare. “While we are excited to be in a strong position to expand services for southwest Brooklyn, we understand there is still much to do, especially as New Yorkers navigate an uncertain financial future.”

The funding allows Lutheran to renovate and expand its Emergency Department by adding 16 new treatment bays and two additional fast track/triage stations (Quick Care program). The additional bays will allow clinicians to treat higher acuity patients while the new fast track/triage stations will provide treatment for less urgent conditions, which will ultimately improve efficiency and reduce patient wait times. Overall the upgrades will allow LMC to care for many more Brooklyn patients, in particular, those left behind due to nearby hospital closings.

“For more than 125 years we have proactively evolved and adjusted our services based on what our community needs, no matter what the challenge,” says Claudia Caine, chief operating officer. “It is certainly true that New York emergency room wait times are too long. To combat that trend, Lutheran has taken a leadership role by creating aggressive new initiatives, like the Quick Care program and our innovative redesign of our emergency services, all of which have been named industry best practices. We are grateful to the support of our state elected officials, in particular Senator Golden for his leadership and advocacy.”

The grant also includes funds to add 10 new ICU beds. The ICU expansion will provide Lutheran with 32 total ICU beds to meet increasing demand for patients requiring intensive care. As ICU services are directly related to emergency services, the improvement will also significantly enhance hospital throughput by increasing availability of ED. holding beds. (Patients requiring ICU treatment will move more quickly from the ED to ICUs.)

The funding is part of $280 million in grants for health care restructuring throughout NY. The grants are funded through the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (HEAL NY) to fund projects that support the Commission on Health Care Financing in the 21st Century (Berger Commission). Lutheran’s Phase 7 award is meant to increase services due to the closure of Victory Memorial Hospital. Along with Governor Paterson, State Senator Martin J. Golden strongly supported this critical investment of funding for Lutheran Medical Center.

Lutheran Medical Center is located at 150 55th Street.

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