Today’s news:

Flushing Hospital opens newly revamped lobby

Flushing Hospital Medical Center opened the doors on its brand-new lobby last week, a visually impressive space that through its modern touch reflects other improvements at the facility in recent years.

Featuring two tall palm trees and a central granite walkway that guides visitors to the reception desk, the lobby has a centerpiece of a cascading waterfall designed to bring tranquility to patients as they arrive at the hospital.

Attracting dozens of people — including Flushing community leaders, state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and City Councilmen Peter Koo (R-Flushing) and Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) — the event was a chance for the community to celebrate the many improvements Flushing Hospital has gone through in recent years.

“Over the last few years, we’ve undergone some major changes, but you didn’t necessarily see that when you walked in,” hospital spokeswoman Natifia Gaines said. “Now that we’ve completed the lobby, people can see, ‘Oh, yeah Flushing Hospital is upgrading.’ It’s a visual change that people can see when they walk through the doors and it compliments the exceptional service that we continue to provide.”

The hospital has in recent years opened a state-of-the-art MRI suite, upgraded to digital mammography services, added highly skilled surgeons to its staff, modernized its operating rooms and added six transitional care beds and 21 inpatient beds.

In the coming years, the hospital plans to continue to improve the level of care and increase its available services by expanding its emergency room, installing another CT scanner and renovating its cafeteria.

“[The lobby renovation] is just one of the many changes we’re making to strengthen our commitment to the community and ensure that our services fully meet their needs,” said David Rose, president and chief executive officer of the hospital. “As a community hospital, it’s important for us to assure the most up-to-date and highly demanded services and technologies for our patients and physicians.”

Founded in 1884, Flushing Hospital Medical Center was the first Queens hospital. A member of the MediSys Network, of which Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center in Brooklyn, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Peninsula Hospital Center are also members, Flushing Hospital Medical Center is currently a 325-bed nonprofit teaching facility, and in 2009 its emergency department treated 40,000 patients, 50,000 were seen in its ambulatory care center and 2,500 babies were delivered.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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