Peconic Bay Medical Center is anticipating a spring groundbreaking on its three-story, $60 million expansion, according to PBMC president and CEO Andrew Mitchell.
The Riverhead hospital’s emergency room annex, which has been under construction farther west on Route 58 in the parking lot near Bob’s Discount Furniture, is also expected to open by spring, he said.
Expanding PBMC’s main campus will add about 50,600 square feet to the existing 245,000-square-foot facility, which is now part of the Northwell Health system. Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months, Mr. Mitchell said.
“We’re very excited about it,” he said. “It’s going to be one of those huge expansions of the campus. This one is poised to make it a regional medical center.”
PBMC’s proposal received final site plan approval from Riverhead Town last week.
A cardiac catheterization lab is expected to be the most competitive new feature, with Southampton Hospital seeking state approval for one. PBMC is also still waiting for approval from the state health department commissioner, although several other state advisory panels have recommended approval, Mr. Mitchell said. The remaining plans should receive more “pro forma” approvals, he said.
When completed, PBMC hopes to offer elective and interventional cardiac catheterization, electric physiology and a larger, more modern 16-bed intensive care unit, Mr. Mitchell said. The new ICU will be tied electronically to the Northwell ICU monitoring station in Syosett, he added.
The emergency department will also be expanded and the hospital’s helipad will be moved to the roof. Mr. Mitchell said the helipad is currently located near the entrance to the emergency room on the ground level, meaning cars and pedestrians can’t be in the area when a helicopter arrives or departs.
Northwell has had its own medical helicopter, called Sky Health, for about two years, he said. It’s stationed at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma and serves all of Northwell’s hospitals, as well as Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.
Suffolk County Police helicopters often transport patients to the hospital, but they rarely take them from one hospital to another — something Northwell’s helicopter can do, Mr. Mitchell said.
PBMC will become a Level III trauma center on March 1 and expects to receive Level II designation in the future, he said. This will enable more trauma patients to be taken to PBMC, rather than Stony Brook University Hospital. Stony Brook is a Level I trauma center — the highest designation — so some patients will still be transported there, he said.
PBMC’s emergency room annex, which is intended to reduce stress on the emergency room at the hospital’s main campus, is a joint venture between Northwell and GoHealth Urgent Care, Mr. Mitchell said. Northwell and GoHealth are also partnering on something similar in Hampton Bays, he said.