Baystate Health dedicates new emergency and trauma center
SPRINGFIELD – Senior officials, clinical leaders and employees of Baystate Health joined community dignitaries on Nov. 30, to dedicate the new $45 million Emergency & Trauma Center at Baystate Medical Center, at 73,000 square feet more than three times the size of the hospital's current emergency department.
The new facility, which includes separate adult and pediatric care areas, state-of-the-art trauma and imaging rooms, and a secure space dedicated to behavioral-health care, received its first patients on Dec. 3 at 7:30 a.m.
"The community asked, and we listened: It was time," said Mark R. Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health, referring to Baystate's decision to expedite the construction of the new Emergency & Trauma Center. "This has been a period of amazing transformation – a giant step forward, not only for our facilities and our physical plant, but also for our organization, and the fulfillment of our mission."
The Emergency & Trauma Center features 94 private patient-treatment rooms intended to increase comfort and privacy in the emergency room, one of New England's busiest. Centralized workstations, advanced communications-and-coordination technology, and mobile diagnostic and supply carts will enhance efficiency and flexibility for patient-care staff.
"This new facility is a testament to the innovation, courage, compassion and responsiveness of those who lead this organization – not just at the senior leadership level, but also those who lead from the bedside, from the operating room, from the triage station: the doctors, nurses and staff who make this organization perform as well as it does," Richard Steele, chair of the Baystate Health Board of Trustees, said.
Baystate Medical Center, Western Massachusetts' only level 1 trauma center and only pediatric trauma center, maintains advanced specialized services – including neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care and radiology – around the clock, 365 days a year. The facility's three trauma bays include a dedicated pediatric trauma bay. A newly constructed rooftop helipad will offer air-ambulance crews direct, enclosed access to the trauma rooms.
Baystate treated more than 110,000 patients in its Emergency Department last year.
"This facility represents a commitment by this organization to being a community resource of the first order," Dr. Niels Rathlev, chair of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Medical Center, said. "Here, we can now offer our community the very highest level of care, in an environment that is conducive to healing, solace."
Rathlev also cited the importance of Baystate's relationship with the region's community hospitals and emergency-medical-service providers in delivering excellent emergency care. "Our community hospitals across western New England also provide excellent emergency care, and we take pride in the collaboration we have with them – and our EMS providers, on the ground and in the air – to ensure all patients get the most appropriate and best care for their illness or injury."
In designing and building the expanded facility, Steffian Bradley Architects and Suffolk Construction worked with experienced emergency and trauma staff to tailor the space to the needs of providers and patients.
"Today, you'll see changes to physical space, to design, to lighting, to traffic flow and patient movement, to communication. You'll see the sheer physical size of the new department – room for patients to enjoy privacy, and comfort, at a level they haven't had before," Ann Maynard RN, director of Emergency Services at Baystate Medical Center, said. "These are critically important changes, but the fact is, they're only half the picture. The real difference-maker is the new model of care – placing the patient at the center of all we do, emphasizing coordination, communication, safety, privacy, confidentiality – that will be happening here, starting Monday morning at 7:30 a.m."
Financing for the project derived from Baystate's capital, new market tax credits and a capital campaign involving donors from the community.
More than 1,100 Baystate employees also contributed to the fund for the new Emergency & Trauma Center.
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