WPCNR HEALTH CARE NEWS. September 21. From White Plains Hospital.
White Plains Hospital ushered in a new chapter in its history today when it opened the doors to a lobby designed to be as exceptional as the advanced care it offers to Westchester and the region. Local officials and business leaders joined White Plains Hospital President & CEO Susan Fox, Board Chairman Laurence Smith, and Montefiore Health System President & CEO Steven Safyer, M.D., in unveiling the very latest in hospital design.
“This lobby is not just an entrance to a new building, but the gateway to a new era for White Plains Hospital,” Ms. Fox explained. “This is a major step in the redesign of our campus to better serve our community, bringing in more advanced services and an even greater focus on providing our patients with an exceptional experience.”
The new lobby is one of the first finished components of the Hospital’s capital improvement project, which will be completed this year. The Hospital will have a new, six-story patient tower; new operating rooms with the latest surgical equipment, 24 new private patient rooms and new labor and delivery suites.
Furthermore, the Hospital will add a second cardiac catheterization lab for heart care and will double the size of its cancer center. These services, coupled with its partnership with Montefiore, are transforming White Plains Hospital into the hospital for the future.
“When our transformation project is completed later this year, we will have a facility that reflects our stature as the hub of innovative, advanced care in Westchester County,” explained Mr. Smith. “We will provide a healing environment second to none.”
Steven Safyer, M.D., President and CEO of Montefiore Health System, added, “The newly designed lobby reflects WPH’s long-standing commitment to a positive and welcoming experience for both patients and their families. Now a member of the Montefiore Health System, WPH and its community have the additional benefit of our clinical depth and expertise, thus strengthening its position as a premier healthcare center in Westchester.”
The lobby’s attractive, modern construction and design inspire confidence by sending a message that patients, families, and visitors will receive technologically advanced care at White Plains Hospital. The lobby’s 25-foot-high glass walls that bathe the interior with natural light, noise-quieting tiles and beautiful artwork help to offset the stresses that often go along with a hospital visit.
“As an organization dedicated to health, a hospital building must first be a calming, positive space that plays an active role in helping patients heal,” Ms. Fox said. “This new facility was created with an architectural and interior design philosophy that started with a feeling of hospitality to provide a comfortable environment for patients and families.”
Designed to Soothe and Heal
The level of design sophistication is apparent from the moment visitors drive up to the lobby’s Davis Avenue entrance, where a porte-cochère protects them from the elements when they arrive.
After drivers park in the hospital garage, they can cross over to the lobby using the J. Michael Divney skybridge, a glass-enclosed walkway named for the Hospital’s immediate past board chairman. Noted Mr. Smith: “Hospital lobbies often are designed as an afterthought, but they really serve as the cultural and emotional heart of the hospital. It’s the place where healing begins.”
The lobby’s design connects visitors to nature, both through the newly planted streetscape visible through the walls of windows and the wooden planters generously distributed throughout the lobby. Natural materials are used everywhere: elegant wood flows from the building’s exterior into the lobby and wraps into the entranceway.
A walnut feature wall, glistening terrazzo flooring, soft carpeting, comfortable seating, greenery, and noise-dampening ceiling tiles allow for quiet conversation, relaxation, or even work.
In addition, the Hospital commissioned an art installation by New York sculptor Paul Villinski, whose soaring clusters of butterflies—forged from recycled cans—inspire feelings of beauty, hope, and renewal among those who view his work.
“Our design intent has been to improve the patient and staff experience,” explained Frank Gunther AIA, Perkins Eastman’s Principal-in-Charge of the project. “The architecture has been planned to articulate—through a sophisticated design aesthetic, choice of materials, amenities, and improved ‘way finding’—the Hospital’s commitment to an enhanced delivery of care. Along with programmatic additions to surgery, inpatient care units, and support spaces, the renewed White Plains Hospital will serve the region’s demand for best-in-class health care and ensure sustainability for the Hospital.”
Food and Shopping
Visitors in search of a meal, snack, or cup of coffee will be delighted at the selection of delicious and healthy offerings at the lobby’s Everyday Healthy Café, with seating in the atrium. The concept was conceived by the Hospital in conjunction with Peter Herrero, the founder and president of the New York Hospitality Group, which owns the popular White Plains restaurant, Sam’s of Gedney Way.
Everyday Healthy Café offers locally sourced fruits and vegetables, organic choices, freshly squeezed vegetable juices to order, and delicious wraps. Visitors who want to pick up a gift will find amazing and one-of-a kind items at the lobby’s gift store, which will include wares made by local artisans.
Coming Next: New Operating Suites and Patient Rooms
As outlined previously, White Plains Hospital will soon unveil the rest of the new, six-story building. On the third floor, surgeons will begin using five new operating suites that are specifically designed to bear the weight and size of highly advanced surgical equipment.
The fourth and fifth floor will provide two dozen new private patient rooms, while the sixth floor will house a spacious maternity unit, with private patient rooms and expanded labor and delivery suites. Gilbane Building Company has managed the construction.
One of the last phases of White Plains Hospital’s four-year capital transformation project will be completed late in 2015: a new 40,000-square-foot addition to the Cancer Center that will nearly double the space for the Hospital’s growing number of cancer experts, researchers and clinical trials.
The lobby in the Cancer Center echoes the main lobby with floor-to-ceiling glass, natural earth tones, and greenery. Additional amenities, such as a water feature and library, will enhance comfort and convenience for patients and family members.