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Good Samaritan Hospital to open pediatric emergency department

A rendering of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center's

A rendering of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center's new pediatric emergency department. Credit: Catholic Health Services

Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip said it is opening a pediatric emergency department at the end of July.

The 6,500-square-foot dedicated pediatric department will have 12 treatment rooms, as well as a waiting room specifically for pediatric patients and their families. Two of the 12 treatment rooms are isolation rooms.

“Kids who experience pain or illness experience and react to it very differently than adults,” said Dr. Christopher Raio, chief of emergency medicine at Good Samaritan. “This new department will have a calming presence. We previously didn’t have a separate space for kids.”

Rockville Centre-based Catholic Health Services of Long Island, which operates six hospitals in the region including Good Samaritan, said the project will cost about $14 million and will be completed in less than a year. 

“We will also have staff dedicated specifically to the pediatric ED,” Raio said, adding that eight to 10 doctors will be committed to the department.

Another six nurses will be dedicated to the ED at all times, Good Samaritan stated.

The ED will also employ child life specialists, who focus on the emotional needs of patients and their families.

Good Samaritan sees about 22,000 pediatric emergency department patients annually.

Good Samaritan is located between the region’s two children’s hospitals: Northwell’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Stony Brook opened a four-story addition to its children’s hospital in 2019. The Stony Brook expansion was part of a $450 million investment that also includes a cancer center adjacent and connected to Stony Brook University Hospital.

The Good Samaritan emergency department as a whole could get a complete makeover as part of a $525 million expansion at the hospital. 

Late last year, the hospital in a state Department of Health filing said it plans a 300,000-square-foot, six-story expansion on the grounds of the hospital on Montauk Highway.

Along with relocating the emergency department, Good Samaritan plans to add a 16-operating room surgical suite and a 36-bed private-room inpatient floor.

The filing stated that the project would take 30 months without disruption of existing functions. Good Samaritan added that any construction would be handled in compliance with local and state officials.

Good Samaritan late last year also opened a cancer center. The 25,000-square-foot cancer center includes 12 physician offices, 20 exam rooms and a 22-bay infusion center. Infusion suites are where medicine, including cancer treatments, is administered directly into a vein.