Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) took a tour Tuesday of what will be the new emergency department at St. John's Episcopal Hospital. He was joined by the Commissioner of the NYS Department of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, and hospital officials. They spoke about many issues including the health condition of the community, the need for emergency care in the Edgemere area, pre-natal care, obesity and asthma.
St. John's Episcopal Hospital recently received $10.15 million in state funding, to begin renovations on its emergency department. The hospital had applied for the grant money in 2012, but it had to go through a lengthy approvals process before getting the green light in June.
“St. John’s is the only hospital in my district, and indeed, all of Rockaway,” Sanders said. “Having reliable health care services is literally a matter of life and death. This new emergency department will go a long way in ensuring St. John’s is better prepared to meet our increasingly high demands.I applaud Commissioner Zucker for coming out to see the construction progress first-hand and listen to our health-related concerns."
Built back in the 1950s, the current emergency department at St. John’s is about 12,000 square feet and can accommodate 12,000 – 15,000 patients. However, over the years the number of patients visiting the emergency department has ballooned to over 45,000, straining hospital services, and that number is only expected to rise. Now, with the new renovations and expansion, the size of the emergency department will expand to 22,000 square feet and will have over 40 treatment spaces.