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Richmond University Medical Center marks Emergency Department’s first anniversary. More than 52K treated already.

February 9, 2024

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As Richmond University Medical Center marks the first anniversary of its new state-of-the-art Emergency Department, Daniel Messina, president and CEO of the West Brighton hospital, reflects on the 35,000-square-foot facility and looks toward the future with optimism and confidence.

Messina called the project, “A beacon to all of Staten Island that the most advanced emergency care, latest evidence-based medicine, and cutting-edge technology is here, not away from Staten Island, but here, right in their neighborhood.”

Richmond University Medical Center welcomed its first patients to the Emergency Department on Friday Jan. 20, 2023. More than 52,000 have been treated since.


The extensive renovation was part of a $250-million overhaul of the West Brighton medical center’s facilities that featured expanded trauma and triage areas and dedicated units for pediatrics, behavioral health, cardiac/stroke emergencies and sexual assault victims.

The new ED, more than twice the size of the former space and the namesake of former Borough President James P. Molinaro, has increased ambulance bays and a larger patient drop-off area at its front entrance.

Former Borough President James Molinaro, accompanied by Joan Cusack, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Richmond University Medical Center’s new Emergency Department, in his name.(Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)RUMC

Messina noted that almost the entire space is named after community supporters.

The trauma and Resuscitation Unit is named after Messina’s parents, Salvatore and Rose Messina, and other areas named for tireless advocates who’ve championed RUMC causes — Kate Rooney, Ron Purpora, Bobby Urs and Jay Chazanoff.

“In a world of big corporate health care and big mega systems, this hospital, thanks to a very committed board and medical staff, is staying as competitive as ever in a sea of big academic large system players,” Messina said.

Richmond University Medical Center’s Emergency Department under construction. (Erik Bascome, Staten Island Advance)RUMC

Rosemarie Stazzone, senior vice president and chief nursing officer, noted that the health care center spent this past year expanding its clinical education for the critical care and trauma needs of their patients.

“Our team of certified providers are well trained to meet any emergency or challenge encountered. And we are grateful to continue our tradition of excellent are for the community of Staten Island.”


Messina points out that while the Emergency Department hit the one-year anniversary, there will be a Phase 2.

The Richmond University Medical Center Emergency Department. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)RUMC

“On tap: Repurposing and utilizing the old space to support the increased needs of the new ED. Things like paramedic lounges, nurse lounges, locker rooms, showers, shower facilities, the replacement of critical diagnostic equipment, new high speed cat scans, the trauma room, as well as other space for future phases. And we reserved space for a newly dedicated Observation Unit that is a very exciting for the hospital,” he added.

Throughout the new ED, patients receive care from physicians and medical personnel assigned to RUMC and the Mount Sinai Health System.

“It took vision, guts, and determination to embark on the construction of a new $100 million ER facility during a global pandemic,” said Timothy C. Harrison, chairman of the board of trustees. “So, too, it took skill, close attention to detail and perseverant management to bring this complicated project to successful realization. Achieved one year ago, realization has yielded more success than any one of us could have imagined — with the possible exception of Jim Molinaro, our former borough president, who inspired this project in the first place, and whose leadership made it possible.”

RUMC’s emergency facilities now serve more patients — including Level One trauma patients — with better outcomes, than ever before, he added.

“Gratitude is broadly due — to the tireless physicians, nurses and staff who devote their lives to treating our patients, to our friends at Mount Sinai, who have partnered with us on the ER, and who inspire us every day with their intelligence and their relentless pursuit of quality, to our executive leaders, who skillfully guide RUMC’s day-to-day operations, including our new ER, to the members of the RUMC Foundation board and board of trustees, for their tireless help and guidance, and to our donors and our elected officials, for vital project support,” Harrison continued.

Dr. Johnathon LeBaron, chair of Emergency Medicine, commented: “The new Emergency Department affords patients a true sense of dignity. Being examined and treated is a lot for people to go through. They now have a private space of their own that is exceedingly comfortable and a staff that has garnered pride in an area that’s bright and new.”

“It’s a game changer having this additional space where everything is right at the patient’s bed side,” said Jean Gordon, assistant vice president, Emergency Services. “It’s bright, new and the waiting area is beautiful. We have security embedded within the department with mobile communication. And our Mount Sinai partnership has only gotten stronger making a positive difference. The trauma area is three times the size than it was before.”

“Mount Sinai has been a great partner in working collaboratively with us to improve over all patient care,” Dr. LeBaron added. “We have geriatric specialists on board. We have more room to focus on challenges for geriatric and pediatric patients as well.”


“The ED is right up there with the best academic medical center,” Messina said. “Mount Sinai staffs this ED. We have the experienced staff to man this ED. And we work closely in partnership with Mount Sinai. People feel they need to go into the city, We are bringing a little of the city into Staten Island.”

“Dr. Johnathon LeBaron is responsible for bringing this all together. Dr. Brendan Carr, chief executive officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, a highly respected national figure in the emergency medical field, worked very closely on the design together with the RUMC team and the Mount Sinai team.”

“For the past year the staff in our new Emergency Department have saved lives and taken care of people during life-changing events, often unexpected and unplanned,” Alex Lutz, vice president, public relations and marketing said. “It is during those moments that you want to know you or your loved one are getting the very best care from the very best people.”