Breaking Health Barriers: Northwell’s ER on Demand Program

By Samantha Salerno ~ Living on a quaint island floating in the Great South Bay has its perks, but it can also lead to worry when an incident occurs. As Fire Island is majorly isolated from the mainland, it can be difficult when things aren’t accessible to residents: groceries, newspapers, healthcare. If attention is required for an ailment, it can be strenuous to travel across the bay for assistance. Northwell Health is looking to ease some of this burden for residents of Fire Island, as well as all of New York state. 

Always looking for ways to improve our community, one of Northwell’s latest offerings is ER on Demand – a program a new venue for access to immediate health care during the on and off-season months. Essentially, physicians are now available through a virtual server which can be contacted 24/7.

“ER On Demand” is the next step in Northwell Health’s growing and continued commitment to the health of the Fire Island community,” stated Edward Fraser, Vice President of Community Relations and Fire Island Practice Administrator. “Northwell Health operates three immediate care centers in Cherry Grove, Ocean Beach, and Saltaire. And just this summer Northwell Health led vaccination efforts in response to the Mpox outbreak, administering over 6000 vaccines on Fire Island alone. Northwell Health puts the Fire Island community first, 365 days a year.”

In April of 2020, when Covid-19 put our world was in turmoil, healthcare professionals at Northwell Health decided that initiative must be taken: as a result, ER on Demand has been in the works. Its humble origins were due to the high volume of calls being received without enough help to assist the patients in need, leading to the creation of this reservation-based program. 

Although ER on Demand is featured throughout New York state, it’s especially useful to residents living in remote areas like of Fire Island, who are separated from healthcare professionals by great distances or geographic obstacles.

Scan the QR Code to visit Northwell Health’s “ER on Demand” directly, or call 516-442-6277.

The process is user friendly. The patient answers some questions about their condition so that physicians can recognize the issue, as well as determine if emergency medical attention is needed. After the assessment, the patient will receive an appointment time, which is typically within 30 minutes. After a remote evaluation over Zoom, the patient has received the attention they needed without having to sit in an uncomfortable waiting room or make the journey across the Great South Bay.

 “ER on Demand’s mission is to meet our patients where and when they need care, whether they’re going about their daily lives or on vacation,” remarked Sarah Herod, a team member for ER on Demand. “Our providers are ready to see you 24/7 for simple things, as well as more complex concerns. We’ve cared for over 6000 patients of all ages in New York State since we opened, and we’re proud to formally bring our service to Fire Island.”

ER on Demand relies heavily on patient feedback and the new program is already being met with favorable response by Fire Island residency, giving them peace of mind from their seaside homes. Health insurance companies are billed directly for the visit.

As Fire Island is an isolated place to reside, it’s very beneficial for residents to have accessible help if they find themselves in haphazard situations. If you or a loved one finds themselves requiring assistance, look no further than ER on Demand. From smaller ailments to emergency help, healthcare physicians are waiting to assist in any way they can. To contact, call 516-442-6277, or find more information at