St. John’s Clinical Learning Center Now Open

 St. John’s Clinical Learning Center Now Open

By Katie McFadden

St. John’s Medical Group of Episcopal Health Services is now offering a brand-new facility for quality care. On Monday, January 8, they officially opened their Clinical Learning Center, located near the hospital at 19-09 Plainview Avenue in Far Rockaway.

For many years, St. John’s has conducted its ambulatory specialty clinic services on the fifth floor of the hospital. Now there’s a brand-new four-story building with state-of-the-art equipment just for those services and more. The Clinical Learning Center offers everything from audiology to cardiology services, glucose monitoring, dermatology, diabetes education, endocrinology, gastroenterology, ENT services, general surgery, OB/GYN services, infectious disease treatment, medication management, nephrology, neurology, nutrition, orthopedics, optometry, podiatry, pulmonology, rheumatology, urology, vascular surgery and other screenings and surgery services. All services are provided by board certified physicians. For more information and appointments, call 718-869-7690 or see

“Those services that we provided in the hospital are now being provided in this beautiful Clinical Learning Center building that provides better access to high quality patient care,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Donald Morrish said. “We’re really excited. It’s an all-new environment with well trained staff to give our community specialty services that they might not have had access to on the peninsula, so we’re super excited to see it up and running.”

The creation of this new building was all made possible through a partnership with Manhattan’s Ross University School of Medicine. Medical students from Ross work closely with St. John’s, spending their third and fourth years of medical school learning at the hospital. “They wanted to put a clinic at one of their parent hospitals, and they chose Episcopal Health, so with that, we were able to bring in this facility and work with the students to do training in the simulation center, while professional, board certified physicians provide medical care. It was the cooperation between Ross and St. John’s that brought this four-story building here to have multi-purposes.”

The Clinical Learning Center allows medical students to continue doing simulations in one portion of the building, while board certified physicians provide ambulatory care in the rest of the building.

Another benefit of working closely with Ross students is that many choose to stay after doing their residencies at St. John’s. “Many of those graduates are staying on as attending physicians,” Dr. Morrish said. “We think this is a spectacular partnership where we all benefit from medical school training and maintaining the physicians of tomorrow.”

Dr. Morrish is thrilled that the new facility will allow St. John’s to do more than what they were limited to on the fifth floor of the hospital. “We were constrained with space and had few exam rooms, so this allows us to have more expansive space with more clinical rooms and more access to better equipment to offer more services,” he said. The move has also freed up more space in the hospital. How the fifth floor of St. John’s Hospital will continue to be used is still being discussed. “It enables us to determine what kind of inpatient programming we can do and gives us the opportunity to expand services there. We’re discussing now how to serve patients better there, and whether that means getting more beds on that floor, but this opens up our opportunities for the inpatient needs of our population.”

The Clinical Learning Center officially opened its doors at 9 a.m. on Monday, and so far, Dr. Morrish says things are off to a great start. “It went really well. We were working over the weekend to prepare and sweating, thinking about getting everything done with the winter storm, but we were very lucky that the rain cooperated, and the employees came in and did a fantastic job of opening. We’re only in the first few hours and everything is running nice and smoothly,” Dr. Morrish said Monday afternoon.

And they’re ready to move full speed ahead. “This facility gives us better access to high quality care and more patient experiences in an ambulatory setting and that’s the main focus for us,” Dr. Morrish said.

The Clinical Learning Center is located at 19-09 Plainview Avenue, between Beach 19th and Beach 20th Streets. For more information and appointments, call 718-869-7690 or see

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