12/19/14 1:10pm
12/19/2014 1:10 PM
Sherry Patterson, president of the PBMC board of directors, speaks before the Planning Board Thursday

Sherry Patterson, president of the PBMC board of directors, speaks before the Planning Board Thursday at a hearing on a proposed hospital annex on Route 58

While no one questioned the need for Peconic Bay Medical Center’s proposed hospital annex in the parking lot of Bob’s Discount Furniture on Route 58, the location drew some concerns at a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Planning Board Thursday night.

The plans call for construction of a 3,500 square foot building in the southeast corner of the Gateway Plaza, which is the name of the shopping center with Walmart and Bob’s Discount Furniture. PBMC also indicated it plans a possible future expansion of nearly 2,000 square feet in the future.

The goal is to eventually have non-emergency patients come to this site, and not to the emergency room, as currently happens, officials said.

“I don’t think anyone would disagree that hospital emergency rooms are being used as walk-in clinics by people that don’t have insurance,” said Kimberly Judd, the attorney for PBMC. The proposed annex would free up the emergency room for emergencies, she said.

“Our emergency room is at capacity and if you go there, particularly on the weekends, or in the evenings when any of the typical urgent care centers are closed, you can’t get in,” said PBMC board president Sherry Patterson.

“The beds are in the halls, parking is at a maximum; there’s just nowhere else to go. If you want your community hospital to continue to serve you the best way they can, this is something that we really truly need. It’s something the community really truly needs.”

Ron McManus, PBMC’s senior vice president, said the ER wait time can run as long as 6 to 9 hours because of the large volume of visitors — about 38,000 visits per year.

He said about 38 percent of the patients who go to emergency department can be seen at a lower level of care, which is what is being proposed by the annex.

Planning Board member Stan Carey said no one doubts the need for the facility, but he questioned the location.

“On my way here today at about 2 p.m., it took about 17 minutes to get past that location,” Mr. Carey said. “Traffic was backed up without an emergency facility there.”

If an ambulance were trying to take an emergency patient to the hospital’s main campus, he asked, “how would they get out of there?  The cars were blocked up in the intersection. You couldn’t move. They were actually blocking the green light.”

Mr. McManus said that while there will be an ambulance on site at the annex, the frequency of times when an ambulance will need to transport a patient from the annex to the main campus is expected to be rare.

Patients who go to the emergency room with non-emergency situations will be seen there, but PBMC expects that eventually, people will learn to go to the annex with non-emergency cases.

Planning Board member Lyle Wells and resident Richard Luzzi also questioned the location.

“We have Kroemer Avenue that’s starting to grow and yet we have a dysfunctional light system,” Mr. Wells said.

“I don’t think that spot can support another building,” Mr. Luzzi said, adding that the number of cars going to that shopping center has been increasing.

“The design of that whole shopping center needs a lot of work,” he said.

Residents Ken LeBohner and Howard Young both voiced support for PBMC.

“It’s a wonderful care facility and I would trust them with my life, and have,” Mr. Young said.

As for the location, Ms. Patterson said hospital officials looked at every vacant building and property in town and chose this one because of its location near the Long Island Expressway.

“One of the things we didn’t want to do is locate it deep into the heart of Route 58, where it would be drawing traffic from the LIE into town,” she said.

In addition, anything east of Northville Turnpike can’t be considered because it would not be within the town sewer district, and hospital buildings, by law, are required to have separate heating, ventilation and air condition systems from other buildings, she said.

The hospital’s service area is about 400 square miles and ranges from east of the William Floyd Parkway, the entire North Fork, and the South Fork from Hampton Bays west, Mr. McManus said.

Ms. Judd said that if another retail store were proposed in this location, the traffic generation would be greater. Traffic counts show that the peak hours for retail is in the late afternoon and at night, whereas the peak for PBMC’s new Manorville campus — similar to what is proposed on Route 58 — is in the morning, she said.

The Planning Board closed the public hearing but did not rule on the application.

11/28/14 12:00pm
11/28/2014 12:00 PM
Richard Winslow has been on the Peconic Bay Medical Center's board of directors for over 10 years. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Richard Winslow has been on the Peconic Bay Medical Center’s board of directors for over 10 years. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Q & A

Come January, patients will be able to receive medical attention at the Winslow Specialty Care Center, the latest addition to PBMC Health’s campus for ambulatory care in Manorville.

The facility, which will feature offices for general surgery, gastroenterology and spinal surgery, among others, was made possible in part to a $1 million bequest from Richard Winslow of Aquebogue, a longtime benefactor and active member of the Peconic Bay Medical Center Board of Directors.  (more…)

11/20/14 5:34pm
11/20/2014 5:34 PM
Peconic Bay Medical Center is seeking to build a 3,500 sf medical site in this corner of Gateway Plaza, where Bob's Discount Furniture is located.

Peconic Bay Medical Center is seeking to build a 3,500 sf medical site in this corner of Gateway Plaza, where Bob’s Discount Furniture is located. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

PBMC Health is proposing a new medical building in a portion of the parking lot of the Wal-Mart and Bob’s Discount Furniture store on Route 58.

(more…)

10/11/14 5:00am
10/11/2014 5:00 AM

• Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead will host an epilepsy support group Monday, Oct. 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. in conference room A on the second floor. The group provides encouragement, acceptance, comfort and empowerment. Patients, friends and family are all welcome. For information or to recommend a speaker, contact Charlie Petersen at CharliePete71@aol.com or 728-2804.  (more…)

09/20/14 11:00am
09/20/2014 11:00 AM
 Alfonso Triggiani of Westhampton Beach teaching the 'Electric Slide' to joint replacement patients. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Alfonso Triggiani of Westhampton Beach teaching the ‘Electric Slide’ to joint replacement patients. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Though one day they didn’t think it would be possible, they danced the afternoon away on Friday afternoon.

Peconic Bay Medical Center hosted its 10th annual joint replacement reunion barbecue and dance, a yearly gathering of individuals who have had surgery that gives patients mobility they didn’t have at one time.

Friday’s dance at East Wind in Wading River brought close to 500 individuals who have received hip and knee replacements for dance lessons from Alfonso Triggiani, the host of TV’s “Touch Dancing,” which has been on air since 1990.

According to PBMC’s Director of Rehabilitation Paul Furbeck, 2014 has been a banner year for the hospital’s joint replacement program, with close to 1,000 operations done so far. In total, PBMC has completed around 4,000 joint replacements.

Ninety-six-year-old Betty Negro of Riverhead said she has been one of those patients. After getting her hip replaced originally 15 years ago, she had it repaired at PBMC in 2011 and said it’s been “great” since.

Betty Negro, who had her hip repaired at PBMC in 2011, with PBMC Health president and CEO Andy Mitchell. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Betty Negro, who had her hip repaired at PBMC in 2011, with PBMC Health president and CEO Andy Mitchell. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Close to 500 joint replacement patients showed up to the 10th annual reunion dance and barbecue on Friday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Close to 500 joint replacement patients showed up to the 10th annual reunion dance and barbecue on Friday. (Courtesy photo: Jim Lennon/PBMC )

07/11/14 9:00pm
07/11/2014 9:00 PM

• Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead will host an epilepsy support group Monday, July 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. in conference room A on the second floor. The group provides encouragement, acceptance, comfort and empowerment. Patients, friends and family are all welcome. For information, or to recommend a speaker, contact Charlie Petersen at CharliePete711@aol.com or 728-2804.

Jim Fogarty of resident services has been named July’s employee of the month at Peconic Landing in Greenport. In a release, director of resident services Diane Radigan cited Mr. Fogarty’s “skill and patience” and said he responds intuitively to residents’ needs, from helping to carry groceries to offering a welcoming smile.

“Jim deftly manages all issues related to transportation and hospitality and, when challenges arise, he steps up to be part of the solution,” she said.

• Cutchogue New Suffolk Library will host a free lecture, ‘Tick-Borne Disease: What You Need to Know,’ sponsored by Southampton Hospital, on Tuesday, July 15, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dr. George Dempsey of the hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center will review the variety of illnesses and ticks common on the East End and discuss symptoms, diagnostic tests and available treatment options. To register, call the library at 734-6360.

• Licensed practical nurse Patty Witzke has been named employee of the month for July at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing, Rehabilitation and Adult Day Health Care, where she has worked for 37 years. In a release, assistant director of nursing Betsy Dzenkowski described her as “reliable and dedicated.”

Added a co-worker, “Patty is someone you can always count on. She is a professional who loves her job.”

“Patience, caring and compassion,” Ms. Witzke said, are the key to life and “help you appreciate people even more.”

• Radiation oncologist Isamettin Aral, M.D., will present a free lecture about ‘The Importance of Radiation Oncology for Breast Cancer Survivors’ on Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at Riverhead Free Library. A light breakfast will be served.

Weekly Al-Anon meetings take place on the North Fork on the following schedule: Monday at 7 p.m. and Tuesday at noon at Cutchogue Presbyterian Church; Wednesday at 7 p.m. at First Universalist Church, Southold; and Thursday at 7 p.m. (open adult child meeting) At Church of the Redeemer, Mattituck.

To send Health Beat news, email dfates@timesreview.com, fax to 298-3287, or mail to Times/Review Newspapers, P.O. Box 1500, Mattituck, NY 11952. Copy deadline: Friday at 5 p.m. to appear the following week.