Westchester Medical Center

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Westchester Medical Center
Type Public Benefit Corporation
Industry Hospital
Founded 1977
Headquarters Valhalla, NY
Website Westchester Medical Center

Westchester Medical Center University Hospital (WMC) is a 635-bed Level I Trauma Center providing health services to residents of the Hudson Valley, northern New Jersey, and southern Connecticut. It is known for having the highest case mix index of all hospitals in the United States.[1]

Westchester Medical Center is the primary academic medical center and University Hospital of New York Medical College (NY MED). Many of New York Medical College’s faculty provide patient care, teach, and conduct research at WMC’s adjacent campus. WMC also offers roadside-to-bedside seminars to healthcare professionals and first responders throughout the year, providing them with information on topics like stroke treatments, transporting critical patients or organ transplants. WMC provides diverse specialty services through its six "Centers of Excellence", hosts one of the leading Kidney and Liver transplant programs in New York, and is home to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, the only all-specialty children's hospital in the region.

Westchester Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission, the national organization committed to improving the safety and quality of care at hospitals and health care organizations through voluntary participation.[citation needed]


Originally purchased in 1915, the site which would eventually become Westchester Medical Center was first used as a United States Army Hospital during World War I. In 1920, the Army turned the hospital over to the Westchester County Government who them renamed it Grasslands Hospital. In the 1920s and 1930s, Grasslands Hospital specialized in treating adults and children with Tuberculosis, Polio, Scarlet Fever, and Diphtheria but later became known for its cardiovascular services and became one of the first public institutions to establish a Renal Dialysis Unit. Grasslands Hospital was closed in 1977 to make way for its modern cousin, the newly built regional academic medical center known as Westchester Medical Center. In 1998, WMC became an independent institution after breaking away from the county government. As a public benefit corporation, WMC continues to treat anyone in need of advanced medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.

Clinical and speciality services[edit]

Westchester Medical Center is one of the most comprehensive hospitals in the New York State region. With more than 900 physicians practicing a wide range of specialties from Cardiology to Trauma, WMC is providing medical care to all patients through its six "Centers of Excellence":

  • Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital: The only all-specialty children’s hospital in the region. Pediatric specialists, including pediatric neurosurgeons, open heart surgeons, cardiologists, oncologists and infectious disease specialists, contribute to MFCH’s status as housing the only regional neonatal intensive and pediatric care units in the Hudson Valley. MFCH also has one of the largest pediatric corneal transplant programs in the nation.
  • Trauma and Burn Center: As the Hudson Valley's only Level 1 trauma unit, the Center treats both adult and pediatric trauma and burn cases, and is the only burn center between New York City and the Canadian border in Eastern New York.
  • Transplant Center: Offering evaluation and treatment for patients of all ages who require kidney, liver, heart, corneal, and bone marrow transplants.
  • Heart Center: Known for its cardiac surgery and cardiac catheterization programs, the Heart Center at Westchester Medical Center offers cardiovascular services to patients of all ages.
  • Cancer Center: A player in cancer education and translational research, the Cancer Center provides diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic cancer programs and services.
  • Neuroscience Center: Providing neurosurgical and neurological services to both adults and children, the Center features "knifeless" brain surgery, a comprehensive epilepsy program and a Cerebrovascular Center.
  • Behavioral Health Center: The Behavioral Health Center at Westchester Medical Center offers inpatient, outpatient, community and emergency care for adults, children, and adolescents.

Quick facts[edit]

Westchester Medical Center is home to the region’s largest biomedical research site and only:

  • Advanced-care academic Medical Center
  • Level I Trauma Center – both adult and pediatric
  • Organ Transplant Center
  • Full-service Heart Center
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Level IV (highest) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Burn Center in New York State verified by the American Burn Association
  • All-specialty Children’s Hospital
  • Regional Resource for Large-Scale Disasters
  • Critical care Hyperbaric Center
  • Comprehensive Stroke Center
  • Perinatal Center between New York City and Albany

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • Named one of the 100 top hospitals in the nation for improved performance by Thomson Reuters[2]
  • Ranked among the top five hospitals in New York State (#4) for overall bariatric surgery by HealthGrades
  • Recipient of the HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award for 2007/2008, 2008/2009, and 2009/2010 [3]
  • One of only 25 hospitals in the nation to receive the American Heart Association’s 2008 Triple Performance Achievement Award


  • Westchester Medical Center recently installed the most advanced imaging system that is available for clinical care. It’s a 256-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner, and it’s one of only 25 in the United States and the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley.[4]
  • Maria Fareri Children's Hospital celebrates five years of caring for kids in 2009.[5]
  • Children's Hospital physician Dr. M. Fevzi Ozkaynak helps lead a study that discovers new treatment for neuroblastoma, the most common cancer diagnosed in the first year of life.[6]
  • Westchester Medical Center physicians complete the first combination heart/liver transplant ever performed in the Hudson Valley.[7]

MRI patient death[edit]

In July 2001, 6-year-old Michael Colombini was undergoing a routine MRI scan when an oxygen tank (that it was thought to be made of aluminum, actually it was made of steel) was improperly brought into the MRI room. The extremely large magnetic field of the MRI machine pulled the ferrous metal tank into the machine's core with great speed and force, killing the boy.[8][9][10]


Bus Service within Westchester Medical Center is provided by Bee-Line, Orange Westchester Link (By Coach USA) and The Leprechaun Connection (TLC).

Bee-Line Route 1C, 1X, 14, 15, 40, 41 and 43X all stop within the Medical Center. [11]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Thomas Reuters press release". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Westchester Medical Center - Valhalla, NY (), free ratings & reports". Healthgrades.com. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  4. ^ Ferrette, Candice (2009-06-26). "Hospital owns area’s fastest CT scanner". The Journal News. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  5. ^ "Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Celebrates 5th birthday". Retrieved 2009-10-13. [dead link]
  6. ^ "New Tool Against Deadly Childhood Cancer". CBS News. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  7. ^ Ferrette, Candice (2008-07-18). "Woman gets rare heart-liver transplant". The Journal News. Retrieved 2008-07-1810. 
  8. ^ "Court Allows Damages for MRI Mishap That Killed 6-Year-Old". 
  9. ^ Chen, David W. (2001-08-01). "Small Town Reels From Boy's MRI Death". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "Four Years After The Tragedy: The Wake Of An MRI Death.". 
  11. ^ http://transportation.westchestergov.com/timetables-and-maps

External links[edit]