Tuesday, 22 December 2009 16:41
Arthur A. Gianelli, President/CEO of the NuHealth System, announced the start of construction for the new emergency department, to be located on two floors of the Nassau University Medical Center, the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council and all the local unions affiliated with the Council and a commitment by Plaza Construction to achieve a goal of 25 percent minority/women owned business enterprise (MWBE) in the emergency department construction.
The ED construction has been funded through a New York State Department of Health HEAL Phase 2 grant (Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law), with Nassau County matching the HEAL funds with funding from settlements with the tobacco companies.
The emergency department construction project will be completed pursuant to the Project Labor Agreement – the first such agreement ever entered into between the NuHealth System and the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council.
Gilbane Building Company, NuHealth’s construction manager, has entered into the PLA on NuHealth’s behalf with the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council and all the local unions affiliated with the Council.
Gianelli, in praising the board’s decision to enter into a comprehensive PLA for the start of the ED construction, stated: “Our ED construction is of major importance to the residents of Nassau County who deserve enhanced state of the art emergency medical services and to the building trades, it is particularly significant with the construction jobs created during this economic downturn. With Gilbane, our construction manager, Plaza Construction, our construction firm, has committed to meet our target of 25 percent Minority/ Women Business Owned Enterprise participation. The PLA, in setting uniform terms and conditions for the project, will promote a planned approach to labor relations, help to predict labor cost and schedules and promote productivity and efficiency.
“The purpose of the PLA is to promote labor harmony, obtain the best work at the lowest possible price, prevent favoritism, fraud and corruption and other considerations such as the impact of delay and the possibility of cost savings. The PLA will cover three projects on the NUMC campus: the emergency department, the 14th floor psychiatric unit renovations, and the Veterans Administration outpatient clinic,” stated Neil Heyman, senior project executive for the Gilbane Building Company.
Following an invitation for bids for the construction of the emergency department, Plaza Construction Corporation of New York City, was retained as the lowest responsible bidder, with a contract for $14,990,000 to provide construction services to build an emergency department of approximately 45,000 square feet, located on two floors of the Nassau University Medical Center, the ground floor and the first floor. An additional $5 million will be provided to improve accessibility to the new ED from Hempstead Turnpike, as well as providing enhancements to the Nassau County Police Department Medical Control Unit. The first floor of the new emergency department, to be built in the former employee cafeteria, will include adult and pediatric acute care, level I critical care and an imaging center. The ground floor includes the adult and the pediatric fast track program, prisoner treatment area and expanded emergency behavioral health. The imaging center will serve the ED, also providing a state of the art 320 slice CT scanner and a new radiology room to serve the needs of our outpatients. The brand new behavioral health area will include emergent adult and child psychiatry and full capability for emergent addiction services. The emergency department construction, expected to be completed by the end of October 2010 for the first floor and late spring 2011 for the remainder of the project, will provide construction employment for as many as 75 union trades workers.
“The ED design will result in an efficient, attractive and code compliant operation that will offer the community the latest in emergency services, with a state of the art 320 slice CT scanner and increasing our treatment spaces from the existing 28 to 54,” said Gianelli. Due to an increase in projected ED visits from 75,000 in 2008 to a capacity of 100,000 future yearly visits, along with an increasing, undersized and inadequate facility that has not seen any major renovations since 1974, NUMC’s expansion project will increase from the existing 26,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet. The new ED will have separate traffic patterns and entries for walk-in patients and ambulance patients. The helipad will remain in its existing location. “The Nassau County Police Department Ambulance and Air Bureau administrators have been involved in the ED planning and voiced their support, with the NCPD Medical Control Unit permanently stationed at NUMC,” added Gianelli.
Steven Fisher, chairman and CEO of Plaza Construction, joined Mr. Gianelli during the announcement: “Plaza Construction is proud to partner in building the new emergency department at NUMC. When finished, this state-of-the-art facility will deliver first class emergency care to the community for years to come. We look forward to its successful completion and positive long-term relationship with NUMC.”
Gilbane will manage and oversee construction services provided by Plaza Construction. In fulfilling NuHealth’s goal of achieving greater minority/ women owned business enterprise participation, Plaza Construction has committed to achieving a goal of 25% M/WBE participation, through an extensive outreach program designed to increase the number of firms participating at various levels of the ED construction through agreements with subcontractors, by spreading work out over a greater number of contracts, thus increasing the opportunity for M/WBE to participate. Nuhealth requires all qualified trade contractors to be fully bonded and insured and that the bonding and insurance requirements of the particular project be presented to potential M/WBE prior to bid proposals being issued or submitted. Gianelli added: “We remain committed to undertaking and continuing existing programs of affirmative action to ensure that minority and women’s groups are afforded equal opportunities to meaningful participation in the performance of NuHealth contracts. Our focus and collaboration with Gilbane Company and Plaza Construction, in addition to our staff being extremely sensitive to our goals, have resulted in the concrete manifestation of this 25% M/WBE participation.”
Steven J. Walerstein, MD, FACP, executive vice president for medical affairs for the NuHealth System explained how this project will benefit the health of all LI residents: “The new facility will now provide the state of art environment to complement the state of the art health care, historically provided by our ED staff.”
For more information about NuHealth or its Centers of Care, visit www.nuhealth.net.