After a devastating fire in September 2021, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is officially rebuilding its damaged 11th floor, with new and even better improvements.
On Tuesday, April 4, Rockaway’s hospital held an official groundbreaking ceremony on what will be a new state of the art 11th floor (Tower 11). The project, once completed, will reveal a brand new Medical Surgical (Med. Surg.) Nursing Unit, and equipment that includes new telemetry equipment, a Nurse call system, new beds and furniture, a security system and handicap bathroom showers.
Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony comes a year and a half after the devastating fire broke out on the rooftop of the hospital causing substantial damage to the 11th floor and the hospital roof. At the time, all patients on Tower 11 were relocated to other units throughout the facility while continuously receiving exceptional care from the hospital’s team members.
Tower 11 team members who were affected by the fire deemed it as a temporary setback. Tuesday was their first time back on the 11th floor since the fire.
“I actually have goosebumps,” said Monique Armstrong, Tower 11 Staff Nurse. “The fire left us devastated. Today we see it as a new beginning for us, we plan to come back here, it is our home. We’re coming back to our home, a renovated brand new home and we just want to share and tell everyone out there that we are grateful, thankful and we can’t wait to come back.”
To display a new beginning for the hospital, the rebuilding of the 11th floor is only one of the many initiatives the hospital is undertaking this year. Within a couple months, the health system will break ground on an Ambulatory Pavilion that will offer services including, primary care, behavioral health and oncology. This is in addition to opening a state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Center.
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, the Executive board and the team members are committed to the beautification of the hospital, better care for the patients, and creating a healthy community.