Health & Wellness

Northern Westchester Hospital Opens State-of-the-Art Operating Rooms

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MT. KISCO, N.Y. - Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, March 18, to celebrate the addition of six new state-of-the art operating rooms and a 14-bay recovery unit.

This celebration comes on the heels of the hospital’s 100-year anniversary and its officials say it’s an example of the strides the hospital is taking to remain on the cutting edge. Currently, the operating suite is the newest in the region, according to a statement issued by the hospital.

Joel Seligman, CEO and president of NWH, said that in 1917, during its first year of operation, there were 424 surgical procedures. In 2015, there were 9,000 procedures performed by 154 different surgeons.

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Seligman said 570 of those were performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, a robot used during minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures. This technology allows for quicker recovery and minimizes the risk of infection, along with many other benefits, according to the hospital’s website.

“The very best surgical care is available right here in our backyard,” Seligman said.

The six identical operating rooms are each 655 square-feet, 50 percent larger than the previously used operating rooms, Seligman said.

The operating rooms also provide improved infection control and feature new heating and ventilation systems, according to hospital officials. Implemented to regulate temperature and air pressure, the heating and ventilation systems also allow for optimal noise levels to permit clear and audible speech among surgical staff. Mounts on the ceiling carry wires and chords for electronics in the room, keeping the floors clear.

The doors to the rooms (which open in response to waving a hand across a sensor) have nature-inspired designs painted onto them in soothing blue hues. The corridor is lined with windows, allowing natural light to illuminate the hallway instead of the fluorescent lighting typical to hospitals.

The design features that overlay the technological advancements are rooted in NWH’s philosophy of patient-centered care, said Nancy Karch, chair of NWH’s Board of Trustees. Under this philosophy, the patient’s family’s presence and involvement is encouraged, so the recovery bays are designed to provide greater privacy for patients and increased space for family members and caregivers. These features “facilitate healing,” she said.

Each room was named after donors who supported the fundraising campaign. The respective donors cut the ribbons to their rooms at the ceremony after remarks were made by Seligman, Karch and Dr. Marshal Peris, medical staff president. Also in attendance were Sen. Terrence Murphy, Mt. Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich and state Assemblyman David Buchwald.

“The current administration and board want to be able to live up to that expectation of being able to think forward and design things that are really going to be wonderful for our community,” Karch said.

The next phase in the hospital’s ongoing mission to stay cutting-edge and offer the best in patient-centered care will be to renovate and repurpose the operating rooms that have been in use prior to the construction of the new suite, Karch said

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