Southside Hospital is breaking the mold on how emergency departments work.

That will be apparent to anyone who arrives to its new $60 million facility in Bay Shore for treatment.

Because patients are going to meet with a doctor first.

“Care starts at the door,” said John D’Angelo, an executive director of emergency services for Northwell Health, “We won’t have the bottleneck of sequentially telling your story three times before you get to a provider.”

Physicians will be bouncing back and forth between four new intake rooms off the lobby “to do brief encounters to understand the general concept of what’s going on,” he explained.

Dr. D’Angelo was speaking to about 150 people at a grand opening celebration Thursday for the new Bohlsen Family Emergency Department, which will open to patients next week.

The 30,000-square-foot department is triple the size of the existing 10,000-square-foot space.

see below for a photo tour

“This emergency department is more than just more space … this was designed with an eye toward innovation,” Dr. D’Angelo said.

Those innovations were touched on by every speaker Thursday.

Among those speakers was John Bohlsen, who took to the podium with his wife, Linda.

It was a generous donation by the Bohlsens that made the new emergency department possible, among other hospital upgrades at what’s now a Level II Trauma Center.

John Bohlsen spoke about the value of privacy in the new facility.

“The patients will not have to be warehoused in halls and corners where their most harrowing experiences are on display for all to see,” he said. “Instead they’ll have individual treatment rooms that can afford them privacy and dignity.”

He touched on the separate Behavior Health area that’s been designed for the safety and comfort of people who might be dealing with emotional issues.

And he spoke to what children will experience in the new emergency department, especially once the second phase is completed next year with a new 7-bed pediatric unit.

“Children will have a separate entrance, so they won’t have to witness the traumas that regularly visit emergency departments,” Bohlsen said. “There will no longer be a curtain separating a child with a stomach ache from an accident victim. 

“Instead, they will be in a private room, comforted by their family.”

The new department also features a Results Waiting area, where people waiting for test results can do so comfortably in lounge chairs and electronic docking stations, with plenty of room for family.

Dr. D’Angelo said gone are the days of waiting in a tiny room or on a stretcher in hallway for four hours.

“This emergency department was designed to not follow the rules of emergency medicine the way they’ve been played for so long,” he said. “I think we’re going to set a new bar with how emergency medicine is practiced in the region and in the country.”

Southside’s executive director, Donna Moravick, called Dr. D’Angelo “the brainchild behind this design.”

She also called the Bohlsen Family Emergency Department “the centerpiece” of Southside’s transformation over the last decade from a community hospital to a tertiary care facility.

“And this is phase one,” she reminded.

Phase two will include the 7-bed pediatric area, a new critical care/trauma area with a new x-ray and CT Scan suite, five new isolation rooms with a decontamination suite, and more.

A helipad was also recently constructed to the rear of the new department.

Northwell Health’s president and CEO, Michael Dowling, promised more big days to come at Southside Hospital

“Progress never stops,” Dowling said. “There is no end to progress.”

Top Photo: (L-R) Linda Bohlsen, John Bohlsen and Northwell Health CEO and president Michael Dowling before Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Credit: Michael White)

Virtual Tour: Southside Hospital’s new emergency department in Bay Shore