Emergency department entrance at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Peconic Bay Medical Center has received a $5 million donation for a new 6,600-square-foot expansion of the hospital’s Emergency Services Department. 

The new expansion is set to increase critical care capacity by more than 75% and implement a dual-bay trauma unit, additional cardiac response services, and a dedicated pediatric treatment area, incorporate advanced radiology capabilities and enhance patient privacy, according to PBMC.

The donation for the project, which will cost a total of $15 million, was made by supporters Thomas B. Poole and Mary Jane Poole of Westhampton Beach and Garden City. Thomas Poole is the past CEO and president of the Hallen Construction Company.

“Thomas and Mary Jane Poole’s cornerstone donation will help take us another step forward in addressing the issue of access to emergency care in eastern Suffolk County and will help save lives,” said Amy Loeb, PBMC’s executive director. “As the needs of our communities grow, our facilities must keep pace. This expansion is vital to the quality of service we deliver in our emergency department.”

The emergency department responds to more than 36,000 patients every year, a number that’s growing due to the region’s growing population, PBMC said in a press release. Loeb said in an interview that the hospital identified around five years ago that it needed more space.

“This gift will enable PBMC to continue to meet the growing healthcare needs in Eastern Suffolk and to do so in a modern, technologically enabled facility,” said Stephen Bello, senior vice president and executive director of Northwell’s Eastern Region. “We are truly thankful to Thomas and Mary Jane, whose contribution to enhancing medical care in Suffolk County will be felt for generations.”

The hospital has also recently seen a sharp increase in more severe cases, such as people suffering with trauma, heart attack or stroke. Loeb said the number of patients at the emergency department with the most severe cases tripled from 2019 to 2021.

“As the need for advanced emergency services increases, this donation will directly enhance the patient experience at all levels of Peconic Bay Medical Center,” said Lincoln Cox, MD, PBMC’s chair of Emergency Medicine. “People need access to quality health care, and this donation will benefit Suffolk County residents. The new space this donation helps create will directly lead to lives saved.”

Loeb said the hospital has now raised $7 million of the $15 million needed for the expansion. The expansion is currently in the design phase. “We hope to open the doors in the first quarter of 2024,” Loeb said.

According to PBMC, the Pooles have been contributing to the hospital since 2006 and have supported the growth of a range of medical services. This newest donation accelerates the timeline for expanding the emergency capabilities. A September 2022 event will be held in their honor.

“The direction of PBMC, along with Executive Director Amy Loeb’s vision, motivated and inspired us to help advance both,” said Mr. and Mrs. Poole. 

“Thomas and Mary Jane have been incredibly gracious supporters of Peconic Bay Medical Center for a long time, and we are thrilled to acknowledge their remarkable $5 million donation for the expansion of our Emergency Department,” said Emilie Roy Corey, chair of Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation. “At its core, Peconic Bay is a hospital that is dedicated to serving the people of this great community. This contribution furthers that mission.”

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com