As Hospital for Special Surgery celebrated the launch of its 50,000-square-foot outpatient facility in White Plains on Wednesday, HSS CEO and President Louis A. Shapiro acknowledged it took some creativity to work out the plans for its new home at 1133 Westchester Ave.
“Beautiful campus, but to really do this project you needed to have a vision,” Shapiro said. “Because this building that we’re in now was not pretty. It was concrete.”
The building was a former data center for IBM at the 620,000-square-foot complex, which is owned by Rye Brook-based RPW Group.
Shapiro stood in front of tall, sunny windows on Wednesday in a fully renovated version of that same building to cut the ceremonial ribbon for HSS Westchester, which the leaders of the Manhattan-based orthopedic hospital said is its most comprehensive regional care center to date.
Hospital for Special Surgery on 70th Street in Upper Manhattan is the nation’s oldest orthopedic hospital and is consistently ranked as a top hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital was ranked first nationally in orthopedics and third in adult rheumatology on the magazine’s 2017-18 list.
“Over the course of time as we have continued to grow and develop and build our main campus, we’ve recognized that we need to make the caliber of care you get when you come to the city available to people closer to where they live and work,” Shapiro said.
About 10 percent of patients in the Manhattan hospital come from Westchester County, according to hospital officials.
The facility will offer patients rehabilitation services, including aquatics and concussion therapy, along with sports performance services such as motion analysis, return-to-play testing and training. Medical staff and patients will have access to 20 exam rooms, three X-ray machines and an MRI suite.
“People come from all over the world to get an MRI from HSS,” said Andrew Pearle, a Rye resident and orthopedic surgeon named medical director for HSS Westchester. “We’re bringing that technology here, so you don’t have to schlep into the city to get your MRI or to get your X-ray.”
The Westchester outpatient center will feature 25 physicians available to see patients, with a support staff of about 20. The hospital said it expects that number to grow by the end of the year. The doctor specialties include adult reconstruction and joint replacement, foot and ankle, pediatric orthopedics, physiatry, sports medicine and rheumatology.
The Westchester center expands on the hospital’s outpatient network, which includes an 18,000-square-foot facility at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford. The hospital also has outpatient centers in Queens, Long Island, New Jersey and several sites in Manhattan. At the end of October, Hospital for Special Surgery will open HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health, a collaboration with Stamford Hospital.
Hospital for Special Surgery is the latest medical provider to launch or expand facilities along the Interstate 287 corridor, which has become a magnet for outpatient centers and medical offices. Before Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering opened a 114,000-square-foot outpatient cancer facility in 2014 at 500 Westchester Ave. in Harrison and Westmed Medical Group opened an 85,000-square-foot medical office at 3030 Westchester Ave in 2015.
RPW Group CEO Robert P. Weisz described the I-287 corridor as “the spine” of the county, which he said is part of what draws medical providers to the area.
“There is no more convenient location,” Weisz told the Business Journal. “So as a result we see that some of the large medical institutions are locating along I-287. And I think the future is more of that mixed use, where we have office space, residential, some retail and, of course, the medical facilities that are so essential to the population.”
He described Hospital for Special Surgery as the final piece for a renovation process at 1133 Westchester Ave. that started when the company bought the 80-acre property 12 years ago. The company rebuilt the 20,000-square-foot atrium in the center of the campus, with a fitness center, a small shop, an executive dining room and cafeteria.
“HSS is the last piece of the puzzle, complementing the entire project,” Weisz said. “We cannot ask for a better tenant in terms of reputation and quality of service. We think the structure of the building will work out very well because it’s a building within a building, where they can be totally independent, but still have services available to them.”