West Village residents will soon have an emergency room to visit for the first time since St. Vincent's Hospital closed in 2010.
The Lenox Hill HealthPlex on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets is located across the street from the old hospital, where a condo complex is currently under construction.
The 24-hour emergency care center will be part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
The opening is planned for summer after final approvals and inspections are complete.
"The Lenox Hill HealthPlex is a complete full service emergency department. That means that any service that you might expect to receive at a usual emergency department that's on the ground floor of a hospital, we'll have the same services available. So you could walk in with a stubbed toe or a heart attack, and we have what's necessary to take care of you," said Lenox Hill HealthPlex Medical Director Dr. Eric Cruzen.
Ahead of the opening, staffers have been preparing through simulations using both actors to portray patients and a guy named "Sim Man.
"He can talk, breathe and has all of the other vital functions that a human being would have, which enables people to practice on him for high stress, high stakes medical situations," said North Shore-LIJ Patient Safety Institute Assistant Director Robert Turner.
Since the ER is not inside a full service hospital patients would be transported by ambulance if they need further treatment.
"If you have appendicitis, while the emergency department will stabilize you, you have to have your appendix removed, and that has to happen in an operating room. So in a situation like that, an emergency department in another hospital would send you up an elevator to the operating room, we would just send you in an ambulance to the operating room at the hospital of your choice," noted Dr. Eric Cruzen.
North-Shore LIJ hopes the $150 million project will help fill a medical void in the West Village created by the closure of St. Vincent's four years ago. Since then, community members have been calling on elected officials to help bring a hospital and emergency room back to the neighborhood.
Residents who spoke with NY1 say the ER is a good first step but hope a full hospital is also in the cards.
"It's very welcome but we do need a hospital," said one West Village resident.
"Hopefully this urgent care can solve some of it but not having a hospital downtown is a real loss," said another resident.
North Shore-LIJ officials say they hope their new neighbors will take advantage of the HealthPlex much like they once did with St. Vincent's.