St. Anthony Community Hospital looks to modernize and expand

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    WARWICK-St. Anthony Community Hospital has been part of the Warwick Community since 1939. Over the years, as the community has grown, so has the hospital. That is the hope again as the hospital is requesting approval to build a 10,500-square foot addition adjacent to Maple Avenue. The new construction, which has already received approval from the Architectural Review Board, will house 19 same day surgery bays and two endoscopy suites. The process starts with the state, according to Ann Lombardi-Nathan, director public/media relations for St. Anthony Community Hospital. The state gives the nod to the hospital if the need for the additional services is there. In the meantime, the hospital has applied to the village for approval of the project. The village declared itself lead agency for the project, which is a type one action. An Environmental Assessment Form will be completed for the project.A more detailed Environmental Impact Statement may be necessary, according to village Trustee Roger Metzger. Lombardi-Nathan said the need for the modernization of the hospital is evident. "Same-day surgeries are increasing. A lot has to do with wellness and early detection," she said. "We can find and treat things early. We believe in wellness. Now we have to provide for that." In addition, the plan calls for doubling the size of the Emergency Room, as well as raising the height of the canopy near the ER. Many ambulances are SUVs and sit higher than traditional ambulances. They can no longer fit under the canopy that is on the building now. Parking is an issue as well. While the hospital will be able to provide the 153 parking spaces required by the village's zoning regulations, that number is not necessarily enough to satisfy the amount of people who work at and visit the hospital on a daily basis. The parking facility at Mt. Alverno will be enlarged and used by employees during the day shift. Shuttle busses will be used to transport the employees back to the hospital. The night shift employees, however, will continue to use the hospital parking lot since there are few visitors using the lot during those hours. Much shifting around inside the hospital is necessary to accommodate the proposed changes. There will be changes to the lobby, the cafeteria will move to the lower level, and the lab will be restructured, amongst other changes. Warwick's first hospital was the Kennedy building on Forester Avenue. The physicians at the time went to the sisters who owned the property where the current St. Anthony Community Hospital 73-bed facility sits. The hospital was built and opened in 1939. Years ago, a group of concerned citizens came to the hospital and said there was a need for a long-term care facility and St. Anthony's responded with Mt. Alverno and Schervier Pavilion. "This is no different," Lombardi-Nathan said. "We are providing the services our community needs."