PBMC's Director of Perinatal-Neonatal Care Patricia Mele and OB/GYN Chairman Dr. Scott Berlin at the nurses' station in the hospital's maternity center, with nursing staff on the unit, Feb. 23.

Peconic Bay Medical Center is expanding its focus on women’s health with new services and facilities aimed at providing comprehensive care close to home for women in all stages of life.

The Riverhead hospital, which joined the Northwell Health system in 2016, has already significantly expanded its obstetrics and gynecological services, adding half a dozen board-certified physicians in the past five years and growing its staff of certified neonatal nurse practitioners to seven, according Dr. Scott Berlin, PBMC’s chair of obstetrics and gynecology. There is a board-certified obstetrician on staff as a house officer.

“We also have two midwives and we’re looking to grow that service as well,” Berlin said in an interview at the hospital last month.

PBMC Health has OB/GYN offices in Riverhead, Manorville, Wading River, Greenport and Hampton Bays, Berlin said.

PBMC recently completed a full renovation and upgrade of its maternity center, which includes private patient rooms that also serve as labor and delivery rooms. It also includes a dedicated operating room for C-sections. The maternity center promotes rooming-in for newborns, but also offers mothers the option of a state of the art newborn nursery, which is staffed by two pediatricians. The newborn nursery also has the equipment and facilities to care for babies that require extra care or special services.

WATCH: PBMC Maternity Center video tour

With an eye toward growing the care offered to women “across the entire continuum,” PBMC is also in the beginning stages of designing a new facility that PBMC Executive Director Amy Loeb calls “a hospital within a hospital,” that will address women’s health needs with dedicated operating rooms, patient rooms and neonatal care “that will continue to grow our capabilities here, close to home for our community.”

Loeb said PBMC is looking at the space that was formerly occupied by the hospital’s skilled nursing facility. PBMC closed the skilled nursing facility late last year, with the intention of repurposing the space for other services to meet growing demand.

“We are looking at the test fit for that,” Loeb said. “When you build anything in a hospital you are required to have X-number of square feet for an operating room and X-number of square feet for each patient room, for example. So on paper, you have to make sure everything fits in the space,” Loeb said. “Right now, we’re very early in the design stage for building that out.”

The process involves figuring out the space requirements for different services, such as urological surgery or breast surgery and looking at how those needs can be accommodated in the available space, Loeb said. She said within a couple of months, the hospital will have the space figured out and be able to submit the certificate of need — essentially, the application documents — to the State Department of Health.

“Again, the goal is to care for women’s health at every stage of life,” she said.

“We also partner with the Katz Institute for Women’s Health,” Loeb said. “Katz Institute is really the only network of experts that’s really devoted to every aspect of women’s health. And that’s really everything — hearts, bones, minds, and everything else,” she said.

Symptoms and responses to treatments can be very different in men versus women, Loeb noted. “We look into the research behind that and, within network, we have specialists to cover it all, bringing those resources here close to home,” she said.

Katz Institute is a network of individuals across Long Island, into Manhattan and beyond, Loeb said. “Physicians are allowed into the institute based on criteria and their focus on women’s health. It’s institute of experts more than bricks and mortar.”

“So we’re focused on bringing the experts, the people, and then, in order to support the growth of the physicians and experts that are coming to practice here, we’re continuing to invest in the physical plant,” on the hospital’s main campus, as well as on the ambulatory side and growing our physician practices in the region, Loeb said.

“We’re also really focused on building relationships in the community, to let the community know that the resource is out there, as well as building the team,” Loeb said.

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