Good Samaritan University Hospital in West Islip unveiled its new...

Good Samaritan University Hospital in West Islip unveiled its new mother-baby unit on Tuesday. The unit, which has undergone an $8.5 million renovation, converts all rooms to single-patient rooms, among other upgrades. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Good Samaritan University Hospital has created 10 new private rooms for mothers and babies in an $8.5 million upgrade of its maternity unit.

The West Islip hospital will open the newly renovated, 7,200-square foot section of the maternity unit on Feb. 21.

Starting that day, Good Samaritan will have all 36 of its maternity beds in single-patient rooms and it will no longer charge extra for private maternity rooms, said Rockville Centre-based Catholic Health, which operates the hospital. Previously, new mothers at Good Samaritan could stay in two-patient rooms, or pay $225 a night extra for an optional private room. 

The new rooms include fully reclining chairs for visiting family members, private bathrooms and mini fridges. One room is designed for patients with contagious diseases, using negative pressure to keep infectious air from escaping. A visitors’ lounge includes a coffee maker and snack bar.

At Good Samaritan, “the focus for us here has really been about providing state-of-the-art clinical care,” Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, president and CEO of Catholic Health, said in an interview Tuesday. But, he said, “the physical plant was in need of catch-up.”

In the new rooms, the hospital “tried to minimize” the appearance of medical equipment, some of which is hidden behind wall panels, Kevin Figueroa, a nursing supervisor at Good Samaritan, said Tuesday.

“It makes a big difference to have a private room after delivery, especially after a complicated delivery,” Dr. John Vullo, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the hospital, said Tuesday.

One of his patients, Brittany Handelson, 36, underwent an emergency cesarean section at Good Samaritan in 2021. Her daughter Claire was born a month early and spent her first days in the neonatal ICU, said Handelson, a West Islip resident who works in finance.

"It started out really scary," she recalled. Having a private room, she said, “gave me a moment's peace to clear my head, to feel better, and it gave me and my husband time to process everything."

Handelson said she is “very excited” to return to the hospital for the birth of the couple’s second child in July.

The renovation comes as Good Samaritan constructs a new $500 million Patient Care Pavilion, due to open in 2025.

Good Samaritan also has been expanding its maternity and women’s health programs, including remote monitoring for certain high-risk pregnancies, a women's heart program and minimally invasive robotic surgery.

More than 3,000 patients give birth at Good Samaritan every year, Catholic Health said.

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