New post-surgical care unit coming to PBMC

Andrew Mitchell, hospital CEO and president, project donor Robert Lorelli, lead donors Stan and Peggy Zinberg and PBMC Foundation chair Gordon Huszagh. (Credit: Carrie Miller)
Andrew Mitchell, hospital CEO and president, donor Robert Lorelli, lead donors Stan and Peggy Zinberg and PBMC Foundation chair Gordon Huszagh. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Peconic Bay Medical Center is set to begin construction on a new progressive care unit to care for patients in need of intermediate care following surgery, a wing that those at the hospital say will allow patients coming out of surgery to heal faster and more comfortably.

“This new unit has been a vision of the surgical staff for many years. It is the reflection of the expansion of the surgical program and the fact that we are treating more complex surgical patients,” said Andrew Mitchell, hospital CEO and president during a wall breaking ceremony Thursday morning. “Those patients require an intermediate level of care after their surgery.”

He said following surgery, patients may not need the scope of care provided in an intensive care unit, but may require more care and monitoring than the average inpatient.

“This progressive care unit will act as that bridge,” he said.

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Located on the hospital’s third floor, six inpatient rooms will be redesigned into single patient rooms with space for the patient, their family, and hospital caregivers. Two of the larger rooms will also give the hospital flexibility to add an additional bed, bringing the hospital’s unit to an 8 patient capacity, should there be a need.

“We want to make the unit family friendly, because when you involve the family in patient care there are better outcomes,” said Samantha Vigliotta,
 director of donor relations.

Made possible through $1.2 million in donations, work is set to begin Feb. 16, with completion eyed for June 1, according to hospital officials.

It will be named The Zinberg Progressive Care Unit following the hospital foundation’s lead gift from Peggy and Stan Zinberg of Remsenburg. Mr. Zinberg, a physician, and his wife Peggy, a surgical nurse, said they have both seen patients in need of this type of care.

“I think its absolutely imperative that the community can access this type of care,” Ms. Zinberg said.

Mr. Mitchell said the new program is the hospital’s next step in becoming a level III trauma center, which it will start the federal application process for within the next three months.

As a level III center, the hospital will have an “ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations,” according to the not-for-profit America Trauma Society.

Another leading donor for the new unit, Robert Lorelli, said patients often travel far to access the type of surgical care that he believes should be available in their backyard.

“A lot of people like myself have doctors in New York City, and that’s a trek. We really need something out here that has the type of quality,” he said. “Is it here yet? Maybe not. But it’s getting here very quickly. Our population is growing older and we’ve got to provide services for those people, including me.”