Brooklyn-based pediatric urgent- care center ramps its outreach and capacity expansion efforts as part of a $1.5 billion plan to add more beds and more ambulances.
The facility, located in Brooklyn’s Upper East Side neighborhood, is one of the first in the country to open in the city.
It is now hiring at least 200 additional staffers and is working to hire more physicians and nurses in its Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx operations.
“We have been doing this for five years, and we know we are a growing population, but we are trying to be proactive in what we are doing,” said Beth Cohen, executive director of the hospital chain, which also has four other hospitals in New York City and New Jersey.
“As we have added beds, we have been seeing a spike in people coming in.”
Pediatric emergency-care patients are among the biggest demographic groups in the region, but it has become harder to recruit them.
“The numbers are coming down, and the patients are coming in, but they don’t know how to use the beds,” said Cohen.
A new model for care at the hospital also could help attract more families.
The hospital is looking to attract families to its new outpatient care, including an emphasis on family medicine.
The move could lead to more visits from the family medicine unit, which includes physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.
The new model, which could be rolled out across the hospital network in coming months, could also help the hospital stay ahead of other local hospitals in providing the services it needs.
“It will be the first time in history that we have this kind of rapid expansion, with all these people coming here,” said Dr. Michael A. Kavner, who serves as the pediatric emergency-room chief for the hospital and was named the hospital’s president in December.
“These people are the ones that we will serve in our ambulances, in our hospitals.”
The new expansion comes as a big influx of new families has arrived in New Jersey in recent years.
In the last three years, the number of families that have visited the hospital has more than doubled from 7,000 in 2014 to 27,000 last year, according to the hospital.
And since March, the hospital had about 1,400 new patients every day.
“People are coming here to seek care,” said Michael J. Larkin, the president of the Greater New Jersey Hospitals Association.
“They come here for their needs.
They come here to stay.
They’re coming here for the care.”
For a city with one of New Jersey’s lowest rates of obesity, the increase in patients has been particularly dramatic.
In 2016, New York had the lowest rate of obesity in the nation.
The number of obese people in the state jumped from about 4 percent to 10 percent.
And New York’s obesity rate is now the third-highest in the U.S., behind only New York and New Orleans.