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Holyoke Medical Center Breaks Ground on New ED, Office Building

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) broke ground this week on construction for a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department that, when completed, will expand the current space from 8,500 square feet to approximately 22,000 square feet, as wel as a new, 16,000-square-foot medical office building.

The project is expected to be completed in spring 2017. The Emergency Department will feature a new Crisis Center for Psychiatric Services, 40 treatment areas, multi-patient trauma rooms, advanced life-saving equipment, and a patient-navigation service. This will allow HMC to treat patients in a more efficient and dignified way.

The medical office building will house a host of new services, including a comprehensive weight-loss center, sleep-apnea clinic, and other multi-specialty physician practices. These expanded services will address the current and emerging community health needs of Hampden County, including the sharp rise in obesity and diabetes rates, while also creating new jobs in Holyoke.

“Today’s groundbreaking represents our strong commitment to providing tens of thousands of patients in the Pioneer Valley with access to convenient and compassionate life-saving care,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems Inc. “HMC’s new Emergency Department and medical office building will offer the latest in medical technology, a broader range of emergency services, and highly skilled clinicians dedicated to serving our community.”

Funding for the project is provided partially by the Commonwealth’s Health Policy Commission (HPC), through Phase 2 of the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation Investment Program, also known as CHART, which aims to promote care coordination, integration, and delivery transformation to enhance Massachusetts community hospitals’ delivery of efficient and effective care. The $3.9 million grant supports the integration of new behavioral-health services in the Emergency Department.

“Our partnership with community hospitals is a critical part of HPC’s efforts to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost-containment and quality-improvement goals,” said David Seltz, executive director of HPC. “CHART hospitals were issued a challenge: propose initiatives that will put you on a path of transformation, while meeting the critical health care needs of your community. Today, I’m pleased to report that HMC exceeded that challenge. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Holyoke community to build a more coordinated and affordable healthcare system.”

HMC’s award was the highest award for a single hospital in CHART Phase 2.

HMC will leverage an innovative, multi-disciplinary high-risk-care team, known as the Behavioral Health Emergency Care Service, to support all patients with behavioral-health conditions in the Emergency Department. At the same time, this coordinated initiative will introduce robust care navigation in partnership with community-based organizations to ensure that patients receive targeted interventions, including those necessary to address the high incidence of complex, challenging social issues, and are referred to the right services for successful follow-through on individualized care plans.

A portion of this investment will also support HMC’s efforts to redesign its Emergency Department, and will create a separate healing and therapeutic behavioral-health space in the emergency room designed to reduce patient anxiety, streamline patient flow, and improve overall quality of care in a safe and secure environment.

Additional financing partners for the total project budget of $22.8 million include Valley Health Systems, MassDevelopment, People’s United Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and A.I. Wainwright.

Last year, more than 42,500 patients visited Holyoke Medical Center’s Emergency Department, and the department will continue to serve the Greater Holyoke community throughout the construction phase of the project.

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