Attentiveness and Care Merge with State of the Art Offerings
By Matt Smith
“The quality care you have come to expect from White Plains Hospital is now even closer to home.” So says the advertisement announcing the opening of White Plains Hospital’s New Medical and Wellness Center, located in Armonk. By providing services for ailments not necessarily severe enough to require emergency room visits, the hospital staff hopes that the center will “fill a gap [in terms of health services] in Armonk and the surrounding communities,” states Rafael E. Torres, head of emergency medicine at WPH, and medical director at the new Center. And this past autumn, on Tuesday, November 17, they (officially) did just that.
“We have been a trusted provider of quality health services for residents of Northern Westchester for years,” states WPH President and CEO Susan Fox. “We are pleased to now make many of those exceptional services available closer to home for this community.”
At 99 Business Park Drive in Armonk: The new 24,000-square-foot facility–the first of its kind in Westchester–houses an urgent care center, open 3-11 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekends; a diagnostic imaging center, open 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekends; and several other medical offices.
Of special note, the urgent care center is the first and only one in the county, a feat in which the entire WPH staff takes great pride. “I’m sure others will follow,” says Frances Bordoni, vice president of business development. “But right now, we are the first.”
The facility is keeping in step with technological advancements. “We’re moving on to a system called EPIC,” explains Bordoni. “All of the information [regarding] your vitals, including your weight, will are input into the computer without a human person having to type it in.” Patients will have state of the art options such as a silent MRI, a 64-slice CT scan, sonohysterography, bone densitometry, and pediatric radiology.
Key Focus on Pediatrics
Of all the services offered by the Medical and Wellness center, Bordoni believes the community will benefit most from pediatrics. “We decided that pediatrics should be [its own separate entity], rather than [be] mixed in with the rest of the specialties here,” she explains. She adds that pediatric ward will feature two different waiting rooms, so that “well” visitors can be separated from those not feeling well, stating: “Most pediatric offices just separate it by chairs.”
Another exciting feature of the new Center is the 3D UltraSound–a service rare in other clinics and hospitals–and 3D Breast Mammography. “One of the things I always hear from colleagues and friends is how long it takes them to get a mammogram appointment,” notes Bordoni. Commenting on how “quick and easy” their process is, she adds that “I think this [service] will be a tremendous asset to our facility.” Another plus? Women who take the mammography exam will be able to get their results the same day.
In keeping with their mission of emphasizing wellness above all in regards to their approach to medicine, the hospital staff also plans to roll out a series of programs in conjunction with Equinox Health Center, also located within the complex. “Our plan is to develop a joint program whereby an exercise regimen and personal trainer would have an individual tailored approach for each patient based on their medical conditions, history and concerns,” explains Dr. Kay Lovig, a WPH endocrinologist, and co-proposer of the project.
Lovig notes that the programs will specifically focus on topics such as weight loss management, high blood pressure management, cholesterol intake, dealing with diabetes and other chronic conditions, and dieting, to name a few. “Overall, I think it will be great,” comments Bordoni, who joins Lovig as co-spearheader. “We’re really looking forward to collaborating [on the project].”
Emergency Room Proximity
But, of course, while the proximity to the health club is indeed beneficial, the central location of the Wellness Center begets essential medical advantage–most notably and most importantly, for those patients who need it, the ER is roughly 15 minutes away. “Living in the community, I just found that [this type of center] wasn’t at my fingertips,” comments Bordoni, speaking on the center’s location, “and it’s very important to have [a center like] this at your fingertips.”
Adds Dr. Lovig: “I’m from the area [and] I think [such a center] is something that’s definitely been lacking. It will definitely be helpful [to area residents].”
But location aside, the Medical Center and the hospital alike–or really, any hospital for that matter–is only as good as the manner in which its run. Those interviewed stress WPH is committed to attentiveness and care, in the fullest sense of the words, placing a premium on quality over quantity, when it comes to addressing patients’ needs. “There really is the emphasis–from administration down–on not treating patients as numbers,” comments Dr. Lovig. “People care about their patients here. It’s a very connected environment.”
Additionally, “it [has] a totally different feel than any other medical space I’ve seen,” notes Bordoni. “It’s a one-stop shop, but in a very boutique-type way.” She credits that feel to the hospital staff. “It’s really about the physicians, both here [at the Medical Center] and at the hospital.” Bordoni goes on to explain how each physician is “really collaborative…in their [initial] decision-making, and [in deciding] next steps with a patient.”
Of course, she states, at the end of the day, “the main goal is really to keep patients out of the hospital, and living well and healthfully in their own communities.” But, if patients had to choose a hospital to spend their time while ill, Bordoni makes it clear that there is truly no better choice than White Plains Hospital.
“We really provide tertiary care,” she continues, citing such specialists as the “stellar” oncologists and those who run catheterization labs and clinical trials, in addition to various thoracic, spine, and vascular surgeons, among all the other “terrific” physicians. At White Plains Hospital, she says, “You really do get the whole team. Whether they’re in the hospital or whether they’re here [in the Medical Center] or in New Rochelle, [the physicians and specialists] are all part of the same team, so it is one seamless machine.” She pauses, then smiles, before she adds, proudly, “which makes us exceptional every day.”
Please visit wphospital.org/armonk.