Official: Staff of Downtown's Hospital Trained and Ready for Ebola

NewYork Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital is one of eight hospitals Gov. Andrew Cuomo has designated to take in Ebola patients. If one does arrive, an official said, the hospital is prepared.
Oct. 23, 2014

If an Ebola patient arrives at NewYork Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, the staff is trained and ready, a hospital official told Community Board 1 this week. 

The NewYork Presbyterian system of hospitals, including the one Downtown at 170 William St., is among eight in the state that Gov. Andrew Cuomo selected to accept patients with the deadly virus, Michael J. Fosina, the hospital’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, told CB1’s Seaport Committee.

In preparation, the hospital has been drilling and training its staff since July on Ebola screening methods and treatment, Fosina said.

His remarks came two days before a doctor in New York City, who had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea, tested positive for the disease and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, the city’s front line of treatment.

“At every entry point into any of the hospitals, screening is being done for all patients who come in,” Fosina said. “And we’ve been doing drills and making sure that we’re prepared and our staff is getting it right.”

The hospital has been working with city, state and federal officials who will monitor the staff's readiness, according to Fosina.

NewYork Presbyterian’s chief quality officer is taking “100 percent of his time to make sure we get it right," he added.

Fosina detailed other changes to the hospital since NewYork Presbyterian merged with New York Downtown Hospital 15 months ago.

A renovation project, to be completed in April, will add 20 more single-bed rooms to the hospital, for a total of 152, as well as the addition and upgrading of equipment. Still more beds will be added as the need arises, he said. 

More doctors, with a range of specialties, are being hired to treat an increasing number of patients. The doctors are now seeing emergency room patients within 10 minutes, Fosina said.

The hospital’s satellite offices are growing, too, according to Fosina. The Weill Cornell Medical Associates office at 40 Worth Street was recently expanded by 4,000 to 5,000 square feet, and within six weeks, an additional floor of doctors’ offices will open at nearby 156 William Street.

“Our job is to adjust and change to the needs of the community,” Fosina said. “And so that’s what we’re spending a lot of time focusing on doing.”