Beach 105th St. Med Complex Nearing Completion

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While the courthouse and its plans for a medical center linger, one much-needed one is full speed ahead and looks as though it will be opening its doors by early next year.

According to Dr. Mark Gelwan, an ophthalmologist who spearheaded the project, the construction of the 60,000 square-foot, four-story Rockaway Medical Arts Complex on Beach 105th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard is nearing completion and has already leased spaces for physical therapy, an infusion center with specialty lab, a spine center for neurosurgery and more.

With only one hospital, St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, serving the peninsula’s 130,000 residents, and incoming visitors, the Rockaway Medical Arts Complex is a much welcomed addition to a healthcare-starved community.

According to the latest marketing brochure presented by Gelwan’s partner, Kobi Leifer of Community Healthcare Associates: “The medical complex will also be the future home of a 20,000 square foot, multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center (ASC). The ASC will initially provide outpatient surgical services in ophthalmology, urology, ob-gyn, anesthesia/pain management and orthopedics. The ASC will have three Class C operating rooms as well as one Class B procedure room, and will be licensed through the New York Department of Health and will have accreditation through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare (AAAHC). South Nassau Communities Hospital will be running a primary care and specialty care medical office along with a state-of-the-art imaging center. In addition to the ASC and South Nassau Communities Hospital, space in the building will be available to rent for other medical uses.”

Construction is fully underway on the new medical center, located where the old Keyfood supermarket was on Beach 105th Street. The old supermarket was demolished at the end of 2016 and construction for the medical complex began in February 2017. The ground floor will house 117 parking spaces, an added bonus for an area that faces a parking deficit.

Prior to the closure of Peninsula Hospital in 2012, a local healthcare report concluded that Queens County was already lacking in sufficient hospital beds for its residents. The report concluded that with more than 2.3 million residents, Queens has only 1.4 hospital beds per thousand residents, while other areas, including Manhattan, enjoy a ratio of 7.1 beds per thousand residents. The often-cited Berger Commission Report on Healthcare Facilities stated that Queens is an under-bedded borough, especially in the face of its significantly growing population. Thus, many residents are forced to go outside of the borough for surgical and other hospital services.

The Berger Commission also reported that between 38 percent and 62 percent of the city zip codes in Queens County have inadequate supplies of primary care physicians. On top of a lack of primary care physicians on the peninsula, there is a lack of qualified specialists.

Better access to medical care, including ambulatory care and outpatient surgery, will soon be a reality for Rockaway’s residents. The first and third floors of the building are already completely leased for the ambulatory surgical center, specialty care and the imaging center. There is limited space available on the second floor. The building is on its way to being complete and the first tenants are expected to move in by the first quarter of 2018 and it’s expected to be fully occupied by the end of the first quarter.

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