Case Studies

Miguel Monroy – Northwell Health

Expanding healthcare services and bringing them closer to home

Usually, a three-story hole in the side of a hospital building is a cause for concern. At Northwell Health’s Peconic Bay Medical Center, it represented advancement in patient care.

The hole was cut into the side of the main hospital building to connect it to a new critical care tower. Construction of the $70 million tower began in 2017, the same year Miguel Monroy joined Northwell Health as its director of engineering and operations. With 21 hospitals and medical centers, Northwell Health is the largest healthcare provider in New York; PBMC, located on Long Island, joined the network in 2016.

According to Monroy, connecting the hospital and critical care tower with covered walkways has allowed for equipment to be moved between the buildings and for people to travel between them. He and his team oversee safety and operations and how any facilities, engineering or operations-related actions impact the hospital. This project was no different.

Construction was ongoing in the tower even after it was connected to the main hospital. So, he and his team took appropriate measures, such as creating airtight seals between the two buildings allowing people to move through when necessary but limiting particulate intrusion.

Despite some delays due to COVID-19, the tower, called the Corey Critical Care Pavilion, opened its doors in March 2020 as an emergency response to meet community needs at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also became the expanded home of the Kanas Regional Heart Center, which includes two cardiac catheterization labs, an electrophysiology suite and recovery rooms. It also has a 16-bed intensive care and cardiac care unit as well as a rooftop helipad.

“The pavilion, located in a rural area of Long Island, New York, is the tangible result of our promises to provide more life-saving services closer to our patients’ homes,” Monroy says.

Emerging emergency care

When talking with Blueprint in June 2023, Monroy said work in the Corey Critical Care Pavilion will continue for approximately two more years. He’s most excited about the expansion of the emergency department, as he knows PMBC is in critical need of more bed space.

“The community has grown, and we’re trying to match their needs,” he says. “While the current emergency room and department are fine, the expansion will help ensure no one walks in and leaves before being seen because they are frustrated and don’t want to wait any longer.”

The expansion will be located in the basement of the pavilion. It will add nearly 10,000 square feet to the current emergency department, which only has 17 beds. On average, 40 patients come through the ER each day, so the new space will increase the ER’s capacity by around 75 percent. It will include a dual-bay trauma unit, new cardiac response technology and comprehensive radiology capabilities.

The project will begin at the end of 2023 and should be complete within a year, at which point it will open as the Poole Family Trauma and Emergency Center. Monroy and his team will be managing the oversight and safety throughout the process.

The ER extension is part of a larger $92 million expansion project to increase bed capacity, services and the implementation of and access to life-saving technology. The project also involves the construction and establishment of a new private Center for Women and Infants. Upon completion in 2026, the 24,000-square-foot center will house private rooms and a Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It will also provide health care services ranging from breast health and urogynecology to tele-neonatology.

The project will begin next year, with Monroy and his team maintaining it once construction finishes. They’re also ready to start another new project, a pain management suite, and are waiting for Northwell Health to receive the funding.

In the meantime, he and his team are continuing to manage and oversee all the features of the life safety systems. They also continually check the critical utility items across the campus. He says this attention to detail minimizes and often eliminates safety concerns arising from inclement weather or the aging of the facilities.

“These efforts are critical to fulfilling Northwell Health’s mission to provide the highest level of healthcare to our patients in the area,” Monroy says. “We’re always thinking about the community and how we can be an asset to it.”

A healthy career trajectory

Serving others is ingrained into Monroy’s very being. From May 2003 to September 2015, he served in the United States Marine Corps.

As a gunnery sergeant, he worked in utilities and engineering. In December 2012, while serving, he joined New York University Langone Health as a facilities and operations manager, where he provided construction and contract management as well as engineering support.

By June 2017, Northwell Health had an opening, and he jumped at the opportunity. He was particularly attracted to the position not just because of the role but because he had once been a patient at a Northwell Health hospital.

“I was critically injured and brought to Northwell Health’s intensive care unit,” Monroy says. “I received lifesaving care, and so when the opportunity came up to be a part of that system, how could I resist?”

He hasn’t been able to resist continuing his education either. In 2022, he graduated summa cum laude from Empire State University with a bachelor’s in business administration. Currently, he’s enrolled at SUNY Empire University working on his dual master’s in business and healthcare administration. For him, expanding his knowledge is another way he can enhance his efforts at Northwell Health.

“I’ve always wanted to serve and help others, to give back to the community, but also to learn from others in turn,” Monroy says. “At Northwell Health, I get to do all of these things, and I truly enjoy working every day with my team to enhance the organization’s services and bring patients the care they need to live their best lives.”

View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. VII 2023 Edition here.

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