If there’s one word that recurs in a discussion of NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville and its new Ambulatory Surgery Unit and Endoscopy Suites, it’s “seamless.”
As part of what Timothy J. Hughes, the hospital’s vice president of operations, calls “a seamless network of care,” NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital can draw not only on its own board-certified surgeons but specialists from ColumbiaDoctors, the faculty of Columbia University Irving Medical Center and surgeons and other physicians from NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester.
“We’re not looking to replicate the university hospital model but to set standards and follow them across the board,” he says, “so the patient gets the right care at the right time at the right location.”
The same criterion of seamlessness applies to the 15,000-square-foot Ambulatory Surgery Unit and Endoscopy Suites — a two-year, $18-million project that opened Dec. 15. There on the hospital’s second floor, doctors in the NewYork-Presbyterian network can perform bariatric, breast, colorectal, endocrine, gastrointestinal and vascular procedures on an outpatient basis. These can include everything from a breast biopsy to a colonoscopy in one of three rooms, Hughes says — two for endoscopies of the upper GI (gastrointestinal) tract and colonoscopies (lower GI tract) and one for minor surgeries. These feature state-of-the-art video equipment and radiological imaging that enable doctors to monitor the procedures.
Not only is everything now located on the same floor, Hughes adds, but all the prep and recovery is done in private rooms with sliding glass doors. (No drawn curtains that barely segment a larger space.) Though the unit and suites — which follow on the cancer center and eight operating rooms that opened in the fourth quarter of 2016 — were conceived of before Covid, the endlessly mutating virus has reinforced the hospital’s continuous awareness of infection. While the January surge in Covid cases has meant increased visits to the hospital’s emergency room and admissions, there have been fewer patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), Hughes says. As always, he adds, the best defense is “to get vaccinated and boosted” while maintaining Covid protocols of masking, social distancing and hygiene.
Though Hughes is a New York state-licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University in the Bronx, he observes, “I’ve spent more time in health care than in finance.”
He began as an auditor in the New York City office of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., a multinational professional services company, but went on to the Catholic Health Care Network of New York and the former, Armonk-based Stellaris Health Network, where he served as director of finance.
And while Hughes grew up in Pelham and raised his family in Yorktown Heights, he notes that his four children were born in Lawrence Hospital and his family has been cared for there. Today he lives in Yonkers, not far from the hospital, which he has been with for more than 22 years, serving seven-plus as director of finance and four-plus as vice president of business development. He has been vice president of operations since 2016.
“To me it’s really a way to give back to the community,” he says of his career. “Everyone should have access to high-quality health care. That gives me purpose.”
For more, visit nyp.org/lawrence.