ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Strong Memorial Hospital leaders announced plans for the modernization of its emergency department in a multi-year expansion, that includes increased capacity Tuesday.

According to officials, the renovation to the hospital’s emergency department will nearly triple its size to 175,000-square-feet and incorporate more clinical space and all-private inpatient rooms.

Built in several phases, the project is scheduled to be completed in the latter stages of 2027.

Members of the organization say this expansion was planned with bed shortages in mind.

“Our ED teams do an outstanding job of ensuring that every patient receives the care they need as quickly as possible,” said Chief Operating Officer at Strong Kathy Parrinello. “However, there are times when patients with lower-acuity needs have to wait longer than they should, simply because we don’t have the space to treat them. This project will begin to relieve those space issues as quickly as possible.”

Officials at the hospital estimated more than 110,000 patients visited the emergency department in 2021; in a space designed to serve less than half of that demand.

As the coronavirus gradually chipped away at hospital systems across the nation and local communities, industry officials hope the experiences gathered will serve as building blocks for the future.

This project was created to improve patient experience for tens of thousands of people in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, with reduced waiting times for care for all.

Part of the upgrades announced for the modernization of Strong Hospital is a new patient tower. The current tower was completed in 1975. A new tower will be built West of the current hospital entrance at 601 Elmwood Avenue and expand space across all facilities inside.

“With the opening of the 164,000-square-foot Wilmot Cancer Institute in 2008, Strong created a state-of-the-art facility for our doctors, nurses, and staff members to better serve cancer patients,” said Steven Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer and President of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals. “When Golisano Children’s Hospital opened in 2015, we added 245,000 square feet of advanced clinical and inpatient space to better serve pediatric patients. This project will add more new space than both of those projects combined while modernizing facilities currently used for other medical and surgical specialties. The result will be a fully modernized hospital for the needs of UR Medicine patients today and well into the future.”

Additionally, parking space has also been reimagined, with plans to increase its capacity by an extra 80,000-square-feet.

Ballinger Architects, which also designed a portion of the Golisano Children’s Hospital was selected to lead this project.

The unveiling of Strong’s modernization plan took place on Flaum Atrium, School of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Rochester Medical Center at 11 a.m.


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.