What's included in Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hopsital's 12.5M front renovations


A crowd of Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital healthcare workers wearing clean white coats gathered with hospital administrators in nicely fitted suits at the foot of the newly renovated front side of the Franklin Avenue facility. The old familiar face of the community hospital was no more, replaced with a newly renovated façade, entrance, and lobby area.

What started as a year-and-a-half-long construction project to the tune of $12.5 million, which had turned a large portion of the hospital into a construction site, ultimately culminated with a formal ribbon cutting on April 15.

“We are so very grateful for this day,” said Lissa Nelson, Director of Patient and Customer Experience. “We’re just glad to have our lobby back.”

Hospital executives hailed the renovations as a watershed moment in the building’s 61-year history. Conversations about making upgrades went as far back as 2016 when the hospital was once known as Franklin General and underwent a rebranding renaissance starting with its new name: Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital.

The alterations made by Axis Construction Group, according to Jason Tan, the hospital’s executive director, marked a milestone in a long saga by hospital administrators to reverse the hospital’s reputation for its less-than-stellar patient service. How? By tearing down its past, brick by brick, and rebuilding it “with a new face.”

“This not just symbolizes a new day where we’re delivering high-quality care and putting the reputation of Franklin General behind us,” said Tan. “But also reflecting the investment by Northwell into the LIJVS campus.”


More space, less traffic headaches

Aside from an aesthetic facelift, the thrust of the renovations aim to improve patients’ departure, wait, and arrival experience. Key among those improvements includes a disability code-compliant ramp for wheelchair-bound patients next to a relocated valet booth and a widened driveway that opens up space for two lanes of vehicles instead of one.

“One lane dedicated to valet services, and another lane to be as a passing lane,” said Riza Cioku, associate executive director of hospital operations.

The change was long overdue according to Cioku who noted that the old valet booth rubbed too closely against Franklin Avenue, creating a congested lineup of cars. Some would find their way into the hospital’s parking space, but others would wind up being bumper to bumper, squeezing into the hospital’s single-use driveway, and thus creating “limitations for ambulances to come in.”

The valet booth was moved further down and the widened driveway prevents cars from gumming up space for emergency vehicles to pass through. Cioku and patients can breathe easier knowing the new space will accommodate the daily traffic flow of roughly 400 vehicles. And in a busy hospital like LIJVS, noted Mayor Ed Fare, every second counts.

“Our Valley Stream first responders are very dependent on this facility,” said Fare. “A place we can depend on for primary care, especially in those emergencies.”


A more humane waiting area

But the benefits do not stop outside of the entrance. The lobby interior has been renovated from the top down.

“We’ve installed a new heating and cooling system that provides heating and cooling to the entire lobby where before it was limited,” said Cioku. Upon arrival, the information and reception desk which was once “awkwardly” placed a few paces away from entering visitors, hugging the wall to one side, is now front-and-center.

“As soon as you walk into the lobby, you’ll be greeted by our staff team which will guide the visitors to where they need to go within the facility,” added Cioku. 

A choicer coffee-house-style seating area in the lobby area was created for patients to sit and enjoy their meals as well as a private conference room for surgeon doctors to meet with patient family members to update them on the status of their loved ones. “This will give folks a more private setting to have more intimate conversations,” said Tan. 

“It takes a community to make these projects work,” said Northwell CEO Michael Dowling. “This is another step of progress, and we’ll keep moving forward.”

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