Staten Island University Hospital tops SIEDC ‘Top 31’ list


Staten Island University Hospital is not only contributing to the physical health of the Staten Island community, but also to its economic health. The hospital employs about 65,000 individuals and generates more than $1.5 billion annually to the local economy.
It was these facts — and many others — that helped SIUH stand out from the local economy’s movers and shakers and earn the №1 spot on the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation’s Top 31 Most Influential People & Institutions in Economic Development.
“Obviously it was a great honor,” SIUH Executive Director Donna Proske said. “The fact that we were named №1 is a testament to our employees’ hard work and dedication to the community. I personally can’t take credit for that.”
Since launching its Top 31 list in 2013, the SIEDC has chosen a different theme for the list each year. To rank this year’s list, SIEDC staff looked at key statistics concerning Staten Island’s economic development, including job creation, revenue, commitment to the borough, philanthropic efforts and more. SIEDC Vice President of Membership and Outreach Alexandra Porto admitted ranking the top five was no easy task, but the SIUH honor was well deserved.
“When we looked at all those statistics,” Porto said, “SIUH came out to be №1.”
SIUH — which started as a single room infirmary in 1861 and has grown into a two-campus provider of tertiary care — joined 21-hospital Northwell Health nearly 20 years ago.
The hospital’s primary mission, Proske said, is to provide the community with the best quality of health care. But this powerhouse for the local economy does much more than that.
According to the latest analysis from the Healthcare Association of New York, in 2014 SIUH generated $324 million in tax dollars, provided $89 million in community benefits, including subsidized care and community health initiatives, and created 9,800 jobs directly and indirectly through economic activity.
Proske also said SIUH works hard to keep its business on Staten Island whenever possible.
“We want to support the community that we live in. For example, 86 percent of our employees are Staten Islanders. This is not only the place where we all work; it’s the place where the majority of us live and the place where we get our health care,” she said.
Proske believes these factors contribute to the quality care and service at SIUH.
“When you live in this community, a lot of the people that you care for are your neighbors,” she said.
“Our employees are fully committed.”
SIUH was recognized at the recent SIEDC Business Conference along with the other 30 list honorees. The top five — which was rounded out by the Nicotra Group, Staten Island Mall, Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo and the College of Staten Island — were kept under wraps until the Top 31 Ceremony.
“It was a well-deserved honor for all of them,” Porto said. “We got a lot of great feedback (about the list) and were happy to see the packed room at the ceremony.”
Looking toward the future, SIUH has a lot in store.
“We have a major ongoing program on educating our employees on all levels on maintaining the highest level of customer service,” Proske said. She estimates they have reached about 45,000 of the employees thus far. “It’s been a massive effort for us.”
On the capital side with construction, there are several major facility projects in the works, including an $80 million Women and Children’s Center at the hospital, with an expanded neonatal intensive care unit, postpartum suites and a new labor and delivery unit.
SIUH is also working on two hazard mitigation projects at both its north and south sites, which will create a new central utility plan that would move mechanical infrastructure above the FEMA flood level.
“Obviously this project is going to ensure the integrity of the hospital’s operations during major environmental events,” Proske said.
At the south site, there will be a children’s emergency department. At the north site, operating rooms are going to be renovated and cancer services consolidated to one building.
“Your physical plan has to keep up with technology, and technology takes room. So a lot of it has to do with size. And also we want to offer the people of the community an appropriate setting for the care that they receive,” Proske said.
She added the Top 31 honor was a “very prestigious” recognition of which SIUH was proud.
“We work closely with the SIEDC and plan on continuing to do so,” she said, “with the same goal of making Staten Island healthier, both physically and economically.”