Westchester Medical Center, Teaching Center for the New York Medical College
For thousands of residents of the Hudson Valley in New York, as well as for people in northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut a visit or stay at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York is literally a lifesaver. Westchester Medical Center is home to the only specialist pediatric and neonatal center in the Hudson Valley region, an advanced level trauma center, several transplant clinics and a wide array of specialist medical care that is simply not available in the smaller regional hospitals in the areas that WMC serves.
For the students of the New York Medical College however, Westchester is the primary learning center that provides them with the patient care experience they need, guided by resident and adjunct physicians who are considered to be at the very pinnacle of their fields.
Westchester Medical Center History
The first medical facility on the site that WMC now occupies opened its doors in 1915 as The Grasslands Medical Center. During the remainder of the First World War it served as an army overflow hospital. In the 1920s and 1930s it became a center for infectious disease, providing treatment and rehabilitation for adults and children suffering from Tuberculosis, Polio, Scarlet Fever, and Diphtheria.
In the 1940s the focus of the hospital changed again, and it became known in the region as a center for excellent cardiovascular care and it also became the host of the first permanent renal dialysis center in New York State, which was also one of the first such centers in the country overall.
In 1977, Grasslands Hospital closed, only to be reborn again as Westchester Medical Center, a place that has, ever since then, provided high quality, and often cutting edge, healthcare as well as practical education for thousands of new doctors.
There are seven main centers within Westchester Medical Center:
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
This is the only specialist only hospital for children in the region and it is especially well known for the standard of care in its neonatal intensive care unit. n fact, the vast majority of premature babies born in the region are transferred to Westchester for care.
There are over 250 doctors affiliated with the Center and they include pediatric neurosurgeons, open heart surgeons, cardiologists, oncologists and infectious disease specialists. The country’s largest pediatric corneal transplant program is also located within the hospital.
Trauma and Burn Center
The Trauma and Burn Center at Westchester is the only specialist facility for burn victims between New York City and the Canadian border with New York, so it serves a great many residents of the area.
The Transplant Center offers the complete process for the transplant of a wide variety of organs, including kidney, liver, heart, corneal, and bone marrow transplants.
Decades later Westchester continues Grasslands tradition as a center for excellence in cardiac care. With a busy cardiac cath program and a number of specialists on staff the center caters to both pediatric and adult patients.
This specialist center offers neurosurgical and neurological services to both adults and children. Their reputation as pioneers of the concept of ‘knifeless brain surgery” serves them well, as does its extensive care regime for epileptics.
Behavioral Health Center
This part of the hospital caters to children, juveniles and adults and offers comprehensive care and treatment of a great many mental health issues, on an emergency basis as well as an outpatient or inpatient basis.
The Westchester Medical Center Cancer Center offers extensive treatment for a wide variety of cancers on a ‘one stop’ basis as the staff consists of oncologists, oncology surgeons, experienced chemo and radio therapy specialists and researchers as well as an extensively experienced support staff.
Awards and Recognitions
Over the course of its long history Westchester Medical center has received a number of national awards. Some of the more recent of those have included:
2011/2012 Consumer Choice Award for Highest Quality and Image in the New York Metro Area – National Research Corporation: ‘Westchester’s Most Preferred Hospital for Overall Quality and Image’.
Recipient of the HealthGrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award for 3 Years in a Row (2010-2012).
Recipient of the HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award for 6 Years in a Row (2006/2007-2011).
2011 Recipient of the American Heart Association/Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines Triple Gold Award for achievements.
2011 Recipient of the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.
2010 IPRO Quality Award.
2009 Triple Gold Performance Award – American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
2008 Press Ganey Compass Award Winner.
2008/2009 Consumer Choice Award for Overall Quality and Image in the NY Metro Area – National Research Corporation.
NorMet Patient Safety and Quality Award for participation in the Educational Innovation Project (EIP), aimed at optimizing patient hand-offs through the innovative use of technology.
American Heart Association Triple Performance Award for Cardiovascular & Stroke – Westchester is only one of only 21 hospitals in the US to ever receive this award.