Westmed Medical Group at Ridge Hill in Yonkers has announced the renovation and expansion of its outpatient gastroenterology suite, with the goal of increasing access for patients during this critical time when many are now rescheduling preventive screenings that were delayed due to COVID-19. The new suite features two additional procedure rooms, six recovery beds and new, state-of-the-art scopes and sanitizing equipment used to increase the efficiency of procedures, and reduce appointment wait times.
“Prior to renovating the new suite, patients could be waiting up to 2-3 months for an appointment. With the renovations at our Ridge Hill office, we now have improved access and even made room for a fifth doctor to begin offering procedures in this suite. Patients will now be able to get into the office much quicker and easily book preventive screenings or address health concerns in a more timely manner — all without having to set foot in a hospital.” said Dr. Jonathan Finegold, gastroenterologist at Westmed Medical Group.
Patient safety remained the chief concern during the renovation, and the clinical management team ensured that every piece of the new suite, from the equipment to the recovery beds, met the highest quality levels possible. As a result of these efforts, the GI suite at Ridge Hill recently received gold standard accreditation from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities – after meeting 100% of the organization’s quality standards.
The most common procedure performed in this suite is a colonoscopy, which is crucial for the detection and prevention of colon cancer. Patients scheduled for a colonoscopy can expect to be in the suite for about an hour total, from check-in to recovery, when having this procedure performed. Westmed has also invested in a top notch medical team to help care for patients from anesthesiologists, gastroenterologists and the registered nurses who help prep and monitor them in recovery. The Westmed GI team also ensures that a medical professional is with the patient to care for them at every step in the process.
“If you have been putting off your screening because of the pandemic, now is the time to get it done,” continues Dr. Finegold. “Cases of coronavirus in New York are low right now. One could argue that medical facilities are among the safest places to go because everyone here is screened for COVID-19, wears full protective gear and the facilities all go through rigorous cleaning procedures at all hours of the day.”
Dr. Finegold tells a story of a patient who recently made the decision to get their screening performed earlier than the recommended age of 45 due to a family history with colon cancer. The patient was in the suite for their procedure and was indeed showing signs of early cancer in the form of precancerous polyps. These polyps can be easily removed during a colonoscopy which, combined with regular screening, helps to prevent the development of colon cancer. In the words of Dr. Finegold, “We were able to save this person’s life with a simple and safe colonoscopy.”
1. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the country.
2. Colon cancer can be avoided with early screening and removal of precancerous polyps
3. Prep for colonoscopy is much easier than it used to be involving liquid breakfast and lunch the day before procedure, drinking a small 5-6 oz bottle of prep formula the night before and again six hours before start time to clear your colon.
4. You will be sedated and monitored by an anesthesiologist during the procedure.
5. When you wake up, you are able to go home and rest.
6. The next day, the vast majority of patients are able to resume their day to day activities without complications.
7. Typically screening for a colonoscopy should begin at age 50. However, if you have a family history of colon cancer and/or family history of colon polyps, you should consult with your doctor to determine if earlier screening is necessary. It could save your life.
In the group photo above from left to right is the Westmed GI team: Front row: George L. Santana, LPN-Associate Clinical Manager, Jonathan Finegold, MD, Elizabeth DeCaro, RN, Jacinda Hernandez, RN, Jenny Gil, MA. Second row: Sean Baker-Doran, LPN, Andrea Young, RN, Lila Campbell-Gardner, Director of Nursing, Celia Bertuzzi, Director of Nursing, Lashay Carver, LPN