Sea changes that have taken place in the healthcare industry recently have resulted in strong growth for specialized treatment centers and ambulatory care facilities around the country. That trend was evident this week in Westchester as White Plains Hospital celebrated the grand opening of its 70,000-sqaure-foot, state-of-the-art Dickstein Cancer Center; and Northwell Health-GoHealth debuted three new urgent care facilities, in Yorktown Heights, Tarrytown, and New Rochelle.
On Tuesday in White Plains, White Plains Hospital executives, along with patients, doctors, and local dignitaries gathered to show off the two-year, $25 million expansion of the Dickstein Cancer Center, now a six-story building which will allow the hospital to expand its services and help a larger group of patients.
When the center first opened 17 years ago, it was the first freestanding cancer center between New York City and New Haven. “We went from having eight infusion units to 40,” said Susan Fox, President of White Plains Hospital, of the renovation. The new center will also offer increased services for diagnosis, treatment, clinical trials, survivorship, patient support, and amenities—along with patient-centered options such as reiki, acupuncture, and massage.
The hospital’s recent alliance with Montefiore Health System has helped the hospital in its quest to provide the highest quality of care for cancer patients. It allows patients, for example, to transfer their care to any doctor within the system, providing access to a variety of specialties. “We’re very excited about the system,” explained Philip Ozuah, PhD, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Montefiore Health Systems, at the event. “Being able to bring together all of Montefiore’s assets is an exciting future.”
The opening of Northwell Health-GoHealth’s Yorktown facility.
Also on hand at the opening was White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, who touted the expanded center’s benefits for the City of White Plains, and provided a personal testament of his experience at the hospital: “I came here everyday for five months for chemo,” he said. “The people I saw everyday were wonderful—the tech is first rate, the doctors are first rate.”
The next day saw the debut of three new Westchester urgent care facilities from Northwell Health-GoHealth—centers opened in Yorktown Heights, Tarrytown and New Rochelle, with celebrations at both the Yorktown Heights and Tarrytown locations. At the Yorktown Heights location, the company shared the philosophy behind its rapid expansion of ambulatory care services: “The urgent care business has been growing rapidly over the past number of years across the country and there’s good reason for that,” explained Adam Boll, the firm’s VP of Ambulatory Services and Strategic Ventures. “The communities are demanding it. People are demanding it. It fits better into people’s life styles. It allows people to stay where they live and work, and avoid that need to travel a little bit for that care.”
Building on the theme of convenience, Medical Director Dr. Robert Korn described GoHealth as a response to a world that’s fed up with the healthcare system. He went on to say people don’t want to wait five hours for their sore throat to be treated or wait next to people who are victims of multi-car collisions just to get their ankle sprain x-rayed.
NothwellHealth-GoHealth’s Yorktown Heights reception area
The convenience factor also extends into the design of the company’s new urgent care facilities, which are nearly identical in appearance. There are four large exam rooms with ample space to accommodate spouses or children. Doctors use tablets that connect wirelessly to monitors, allowing patients to see what the staff is doing and maintain transparency. The facilities also use an open layout to promote a feeling of equality between doctors and patients.
“The way that we design these centers is to welcome the patient as soon as they walk in; a lot of research has been done which shows that the environment in which you get care affects your healing process,” said GoHealth New York President, Sarah Arora. “If you’re in a more warm and positive environment, your healing process is actually expedited. So when we created this we tried to create more warm colors, and rounded corners rather than your hard edge corners that you see in a lot of healthcare facilities.”