Orange Regional Medical Center has constructed the first new hospital in New York State in over 20 years. Our new hospital is a consolidation of our two campuses (Arden Hill and Horton) onto a single site. Occupancy of the new hospital occurred on Friday, August 5, 2011. Orange Regional has taken the best practices of both campuses and created the most patient-friendly, efficient and technologically advanced hospital possible. The new hospital, located at 707 East Main Street in Middletown, New York (located in the Town of Wallkill), has seven floors totaling over 600,000 square feet. The new hospital provides families with healthcare services that weren’t currently in our area.
Q - What led to the decision to build a new hospital?
A - Arden Hill Hospital and Horton Medical Center merged in 2002 to become Orange Regional Medical Center. Since that time, our mission has been to: "Improve the health of our community by providing exceptional health care." Since the merger, we have focused on consolidating existing resources, eliminating redundancies, expanding the depth and breadth of services, improving access and elevating the quality of healthcare services in the region. Orange Regional has been successful in its efforts thus far, but has been constrained by the age and physical limitations of our existing facilities. The decision to consolidate the two campuses on a single site in a new replacement hospital represents the logical progression of our efforts to achieve our mission and was spurred by several key factors:
• The growing demand for healthcare due to the rapidly increasing and aging population in this region
• The increasing need to improve accessibility and availability by attracting specialists and providing services that otherwise would not be available to our residents
• The inability of our existing facilities to accommodate new technologies, new services and new advances in patient safety
• The opportunity to gain greater operational efficiencies through the elimination of duplicative and redundant functions; to reduce the rate of increase in health care spending; and to achieve improved financial stability
Q - Can't you just consolidate into one of the existing hospitals?
A - Neither of our existing facilities is large enough to accommodate the other without a significant addition. The original facilities at each campus are both in excess of 40 years old. Arden Hill's current facility opened in 1967. Horton is comprised of the original hospital building, which opened in 1929, along with other wings added in 1955, 1963 and 1971. These facilities were originally designed and built according to building codes that are now obsolete. These codes were never intended to accommodate the programs, equipment and overall patient-care philosophy that are now commonplace in a 21st century hospital. Orange Regional continues to incur considerable expenses to remain code compliant and to accommodate new services and equipment in its two existing hospitals. Many of these services are provided in renovated space originally intended for other purposes and, as a result, neither patient flow nor staff efficiency is optimal. Furthermore, both existing campuses are constrained by size and location and cannot accommodate much-needed parking areas.
Q - What steps were taken to get to the point of building a new hospital?
A - Several key milestones were accomplished since the Board of Directors began planning for the new hospital. We are very appreciative to all who participated in this process:
• Orange Regional Medical Center created a Board Steering Committee with community representatives to oversee the project and guide its development
• A Capital Campaign feasibility study was conducted to investigate the probability of raising donations for the hospital
• Orange Regional Medical Center acquired a 61-acre site in the Town of Wallkill, New York, as the location for the hospital (707 East Main Street, Middletown, New York)
• Over 60 informational-gathering "user groups" were assembled with Board, physician and employee representatives to obtain design input for the planned hospital
• Public input was obtained through community presentations and media solicitations
• The Town of Wallkill and Orange County government worked closely with us to secure local approvals
• A Certificate of Need application was submitted in August 2006 to the New York State Department of Health and approved in March 2007
• In December 2007, Orange Regional Medical Center entered into a sale/leaseback of its hospital campuses facilitated through the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties thanks to the generous support of the Gerry Foundation, Inc
• In Spring 2008, financing was secured for the new hospital and site clearing and construction commenced
Q - What kind of State support has this project received?
A - The new hospital project has been supported by the New York State Berger Commission, which was charged with developing recommendations to restructure the healthcare industry statewide. The Commission recommended that Orange Regional construct a new hospital with approximately 350 beds. We were also awarded HEAL NY grant funding through New York State totaling $48.6 million to assist with planning and construction. HEAL stands for Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law, which was adopted to reconfigure and reform the healthcare delivery system in New York State in support of the Berger Commission. We also have widespread support from our elected officials in Albany.
Q - What will happen to the existing hospitals?
A - In December 2007, Orange Regional entered into a sale/leaseback of the Arden Hill and Horton campuses with two Local Development Corporations (LDCs) whose establishment was facilitated through a collaborative effort among the hospital, the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties and the Gerry Foundation. The intent of the LDCs is to sell the two campuses to long-term buyers who will convert them to alternative uses once Orange Regional relocates to the new hospital in 2011. Until that time, Orange Regional will continue to occupy both campuses as a tenant.
In January 2009, the City of Middletown announced its support for the sale of Orange Regional's Horton Campus to a potential long-term buyer. This local developer is currently conducting his due diligence of the site. His proposed plans for the campus include medical education and allied health educational programs.
With regard to the Arden Hill Campus, the LDCs are continuing to evaluate proposals for its long-term reuse.
Q - When did Orange Regional Medical Center begin construction?
A - Construction began in March 2008.
Q - How many patient rooms will the new hospital have?
A - We will have 353 patient rooms. We have designed the facility to expand to 383 beds in high occupancy situations by doubling beds in larger rooms. We also are licensed for 10 NICU beds in the new hospital.
Q - If the new hospital is carpeted, won't it be hard to push stretchers on it and keep it clean?
A - There is carpeting on the inpatient care unit corridors, but not in every hallway throughout the hospital. Carpet makes for a quieter environment, which adds to the healing environment. All stretchers will have wheels designed to facilitate movement over carpet. The carpeting is healthcare-grade quality and has the appropriate properties for stain and microbial resistance. Cleaning will be done via dry cleaning - not chemical.
Q - Why is Orange Regional building only 383 beds, which is less than its current bed complement?
A - Orange Regional is currently licensed for 450 beds on its two campuses. However, on any given day, our patients occupy fewer than 300 beds. In fact, in 2008 our average daily census (the number of beds occupied) ranged from a low of 252 in August to a high of 333 in March and averaged only 287 year-round, well below our new hospital capacity of 383 beds.
This 383-bed complement is also in line with the Berger Commission recommendation to "close the existing campuses and consolidate operations at a new, smaller replacement facility that is downsized by approximately 100 beds to approximately 350 beds." Securing the Commission's recommendation was critical for State support and funding.
The new hospital design will help us to utilize our beds more effectively and will provide for future expansion, if necessary:
•An increase in monitored beds will avoid the Emergency Department backup that now occurs because patients are waiting for a monitored bed
•The ability to expand horizontally and/or vertically has been built into the new hospital
In addition, we have the opportunity to make operational changes that will reduce average length of stay further, thereby freeing up bed capacity.
Q - Where is the new hospital located?
A - The replacement hospital is on a beautiful, rolling, 61-acre site located at 707 East Main Street in Middletown, New York (located in the Town of Wallkill). The site is located between the two existing campuses, three miles from Horton and five miles from Arden Hill. The site is in the heart of Orange County near the intersection of two major roadways (Route 17 traversing north/south and Interstate 84 traversing east/west) and will provide superior access to area residents.
Q - How will you manage traffic on East Main Street near the new hospital?
A - East Main Street has been widened in front of the hospital to accommodate turning lanes; and traffic lights have been installed near the hospital entrance to expedite traffic flow. Also, The New York State Department of Transportation will be working over the next few years to redesign Exit 122 on Route 17. More information about Exit 122 can be found at www.nysdot.gov/regional-offices/region8/projects/route17-exit122 .
Q - Is the new hospital construction causing traffic backups on East Main Street near the new hospital?
A - Because of the volume of vehicles and the overall design of East Main Street, heavy traffic has always been an issue along that section of road. This situation appears to have eased now that road construction near the new hospital site has been completed.
The County, in cooperation with Orange Regional Medical Center, has widened the road and installed turning lanes to the new hospital and Midway Park Drive. There is an additional signal light installed at the entrance of the hospital as well. Furthermore, the hospital is installing a computerized traffic light control system that will synchronize the signals at Midway Park Drive and at the entrance to the hospital. This control system along with the road widening and new turning lanes will greatly improve traffic flow. However, it is highly likely that the congestion problem in this area will continue, as it has for years, until the State DOT redesigns the Exit 122 ramp on Route 17.
Q - How many parking spaces will there be at the new hospital?
A - Over 1,600 surface spaces are being provided to accommodate visitors, physicians and employees in a safe and secure manner.
Q - Are you planning to build other facilities on the 61-acre site?
A - At this time, Orange Regional Medical Center is focusing on the hospital construction. Other facilities may be considered in the future.
Q - What is the cost of the new hospital?
A - The cost of construction, including moveable equipment and fees, is $255 million. When you add to that financing costs, interest during the construction period and refinancing of debt on the existing two campuses, the total project cost approaches $350 million.
Q - How are you paying for the hospital?
A - The major funding source for the new hospital project is $261 million in tax exempt bonds issued by the Dormitory Authority State of New York in May 2008. Annual debt service on these bonds is to be paid from hospital operations. Another $48.6 million was provided through a New York State HEAL (Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law) grant. The balance of the project funding includes equity sources such as cash in the bank, proceeds from the sale of the existing two campuses and a $21 million Capital Campaign.
Q - How can I donate to the new hospital Capital Campaign?
A - You can help continue our legacy of providing healthcare to our community by submitting a pledge form and making a donation. Forms are available throughout the hospital. Visit the Donation section of this site to download a pledge form or make an online donation.
Whether it is a one-time gift or a pledge over a period of months or years, your contribution will allow Orange Regional Medical Center to continue Building for Excellence. For more information on the Capital Campaign, please contact Christine Maraia, President, Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation at 845-294-2204.
Q - Will the new hospital costs affect my taxes?
A - Orange Regional Medical Center is a non-profit hospital and receives no operating subsidies from local governments. The cost of constructing a new hospital will not be funded by your taxes.
Q - Will the national economic situation affect the new hospital project?
A - While the current state of the national economy has impacted many businesses, the economic downturn has not had any significant effect on the new hospital project. The bond financing was completed in Spring 2008 and is in the bank at fixed interest rates. We will continue moving forward with our Capital Campaign over the next couple of years and set our sights on opening the new hospital in 2011.
Q - What types of inpatient units are you planning for the new hospital?
A - We are planning to offer all of the existing inpatient programs -- Adult and Pediatric Medicine/Surgery, Oncology, Intensive Care, Maternity, Mental Health, Cardiology, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and more.
Q - What other efficiencies will the new hospital provide?
A - Our plan is to provide "patient-centered care," which focuses on the needs of the patient rather than on the operational needs of the institution. We have also incorporated "evidenced-based design," which is an approach to healthcare design guided by research linking the physical environment of hospitals to patient and staff outcomes. The various wings and departments of the hospital are designed to maximize staff efficiencies as well as use the latest information technology. We plan to group similar services (e.g. invasive procedure center, diagnostic center) together to allow for efficiencies and patient convenience. We also plan to build spacious operating rooms to have flexibility for future growth and technology.
Q - Will all clinical and support departments on the current campuses relocate to the new hospital?
A - Most clinical and support services currently provided at our two campuses will relocate to the new hospital. Exceptions include the Sleep Center and Outpatient Behavioral Health, which will be relocated to outpatient settings. In addition, selected back office functions will be consolidated in an off-site location.
Q - Will there be a burn unit at the new hospital?
A - No, we will not have a burn unit in the new hospital. That is a Level One trauma service.
Q - Will the new hospital maintain affiliations with hospitals in NYC?
A - We currently have affiliations with Westchester Medical Center, Montifiore and the NYU/Hospital for Joint Diseases. Those relationships are expected to continue, but are unrelated to the building of the new hospital.
Q - Will the Orange Regional Medical Pavilion at 75 Crystal Run Road remain when the new hospital is built?
A - Yes. The Orange Regional Medical Pavilion will continue to serve our community as a premier outpatient facility easily accessible from Route 17 at Exit 122.
Q - How can the community provide input on the new hospital project?
A - If you have questions or comments about Orange Regional Medical Center's plans for our new hospital or wish to see new construction photos, please visit www.ormc.org. There you will be able to view renderings of the hospital, review frequently asked questions or fill out a comment form. You may also contact Wayne Becker, VP New Projects at 845-294-4810 or at email@example.com.
To donate to the new hospital Capital Campaign, please contact the Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation at 845-294-2135 or access a pledge form here or make an online donation by clicking Donation on this Web site.