White Plains Hospital Celebrates 125 Years of Care

Real Estate In-Depth | March 2018

WHITE PLAINS—Later this year White Plains Hospital staff and volunteers will gather to commemorate 125 years of dedicated service and quality health care to the residents of the City of White Plains and surrounding communities.

In 1893 a group of 22 men and three women got together to establish a voluntary, not-for-profit hospital that was chartered as the White Plains Hospital Association. In November 1894, the first White Plains Hospital, a four-room house, opened in the Chatterton Hill section of the city and cared for its first patient on Dec. 28, 1894. In the first year of operation, the hospital served a total of 31 patients.

The hospital later relocated to a larger site on Lexington Ave. and began operations at its current site on East Post Road in 1907. White Plains Hospital, now a member of the Montefiore Health System, has significantly expanded its operations at its main campus, as well as other locations in Westchester County, including its imaging and urgent care centers in Armonk. The hospital’s footprint now extends from Bronxville to Mount Kisco. Today, White Plains Hospital treats approximately 200,000 patients a year and has a workforce of approximately 3,400 employees.

The hospital has significantly expanded its operations in recent years, including an estimated $100-million project to expand its lobby, surgical suites and patient rooms that opened in September 2015. This was followed by the completion of a $60-million Cancer Center in February 2016 that expanded its cancer treatment facilities to approximately 70,000 square feet. Late last year, the hospital completed a nearly $18-million addition to its Central Clinical Services facilities on East Post Road. In addition, White Plains Hospital recently secured approvals from the City of White Plains to make renovations to an existing building at 79 East Post Road in order to relocate certain department staff from the main hospital.

“Our new Central Clinical Services addition represents our commitment to our most valuable asset, our exceptional employees, and our constant focus on providing the best possible experience for our patients and families,” Susan Fox, president and CEO of White Plains Hospital said at the time of the opening last November. “We are dedicated to constantly enhancing patient care, and our Central Clinical Services areas will help meet the needs of the families and staff who are our patients’ critical support systems.”

Some of the details of that expansion project are improvements to the third floor patient and family areas that include a spacious and bright waiting area that now serves all of the procedure areas, including the two catheterization labs, interventional radiology suite, and the intensive care unit, as well as several of the hospital’s operating rooms. The layout also keeps hospital activity and patients “behind the scenes,” securing their privacy once they’ve entered procedure areas, hospital officials stated.

On the fourth and fifth floor family areas, a new family lounge area features a sleek design and warm, earthy palettes, creating an aesthetically pleasing spot for families to take a break when needed. Waiting areas also offer WIFI access, multiple outlets for computers, and charging stations, hospital officials stated.

White Plains Hospital opened its doors at a four-room house on Chatterton Hill on Nov. 1, 1894, and received its first patient on Dec. 28, 1894.

That project is the latest of a host of significant capital investments White Plains Hospital officials spearheaded first under CEO Jon Schandler and then Fox who replaced him in 2015. The hospital, until its expansion to facilities outside its East Post Road main campus, had been constrained by the limits of its existing footprint. However, with imaginative planning, the hospital and significant capital raising have now expanded its operations and services to not only the City of White Plains, but to communities far beyond.

On the hospital’s website in a section dedicated to the facility’s 125th anniversary, CEO Fox and White Plains Hospital Board of Directors Chairman Larry Smith in a joint letter state: “The past is a prologue to our future. Today, our new partnership with the Montefiore Health System promises to propel us to the next chapter of our remarkable journey. As we look ahead, we are committed to ensuring that White Plains Hospital will remain at the forefront of community health and wellness initiatives. On the strength of our history, our people, and our community, we are excited about what the future holds and confident that White Plains Hospital will continue to deliver care that is exceptional, every day, to all who rely on us.”

Dawn French, vice president, community relations & marketing at White Plains Hospital, said, “It’s been a busy few years.”

She said the overarching goal of the hospital and its capital program has been “to provide care to patients as conveniently as possible. Health care has changed. You want to be in communities where it is easy for our patients to access the care that they need.”

French noted that White Plains Hospital now has approximately 24 physician practices from Bronxville to Mount Kisco. From its beginnings as a local community hospital, White Plains Hospital’s services are now available to residents of communities throughout the lower Hudson Valley. For example, the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a referral center for premature or acutely ill infants from Rockland County that require its services,

A major event in the hospital’s history was in January 2015 when the partnership between Montefiore Health Systems and White Plains Hospital was finalized.

The partnership has created a host of advantages for White Plains Hospital and its patients. French related that for example, while the hospital has a Cardiac Cath Lab, a patient initially admitted with chest pains last year, was later transferred to Montefiore for open heart bypass surgery.

“It is that great coordination where the interventional cardiologist in the Cardiac Cath Lab can pick up the phone and call a colleague over at Montefiore and say ‘I am sending this patient down to you,’ and it’s seamless. And then when he is back home in White Plains he has whatever follow-up care he needs close to home.”

French said construction should begin this spring on its renovation project at 79 East Post Road. When completed the project will facilitate the relocation of the Family Health Center and outpatient behavior health programs from the hospital to the property.

During the year, the hospital will be conducting a series of events and programs prior to its gala this fall. For example, employees from certain departments are donating of 125 items to a local charity. The marketing and foundation and human resources team kicked off the campaign by donating in January 125 items of children’s winter clothing to the Don Boscoe Center in Port Chester. Later, the Cardiac Care unit donated 125 pedometers to the seniors at the White Plains Senior Center.

White Plains Hospital will commemorate its 125th anniversary at a gala celebration on Sept. 29th at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club.