By Richard J. Bayne
Posted Sep. 6, 2016 at 4:13 PM
Updated Sep 6, 2016 at 8:27 PM
PORT JERVIS - Bon Secours hospital and its partner, Westchester Medical Center Health Network, announced on Tuesday a $40 million plan to upgrade the hospital, featuring a "medical village" that would include a pharmacy and primary care services, such as pediatric and dental care.
Bon Secours also plans to make all 36 rooms private, upgrade imaging technology, and increase Emergency Department rooms from the existing 13 to 20. Another goal is to keep more patients closer to home with improved services.
“Valhalla (WMCHealth’s main campus) should only be for the sickest of the sick,” said Michael Israel, president and CEO of Westchester Medical Health Network, known as WMCHealth for short.
Officials with Bon Secours and WMCHealth said they plan to submit required paperwork to the state Health Department and the Port city government within days. Speaking at a news conference, they said they hope to start construction by the spring, and finish the entire project by spring 2019.
The hospital, located at 160 E. Main St., has been in existence since 1923. Dr. Mary Leahy, the Bon Secours CEO, said the most striking changes visitors will notice is the entrance will be moved directly onto East Main Street, and the waiting area will be expanded. The plan is to keep all the improvements within the building’s existing “footprint.”
The so-called medical village, which officials described as “one-stop shopping” destination for outpatient health care, would be located on the first floor. The medical village concept is designed to get patients into primary care sooner, keep them out of emergency rooms, and therefore hold down costs. Officials plan to partner with local health care providers for services.
Port Jervis has a population of about 8,800, and Bon Secours and WMCHealth officials said they plan to initiate outreaches to nearby areas, including the Town of Deerpark and northern New Jersey, to bring more people to the facility. Officials see the upgrade as a jobs-creator. “Port Jervis is in a rebirth,” said Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, R-C-I Deerpark, whose district takes in Port. “This will continue that.”
Bon Secours and WMCHealth secured a $24.5 million state grant for the project.