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Business of Aging

Room for Improvement

By Elizabeth Sears

 

Cooley Dickinson has a vintage 1973 Emergency Department — functioning well beyond its expected lifespan.

Even though this older facility has been a workhorse through the pandemic, helping support its community through what is now four waves of COVID-19, it has some obvious bottlenecks. Due to a constriction of space, those at Cooley Dickinson have found themselves getting creative, using hall beds in order to get by. However, an intriguing, $15.5 million solution is currently in the works for 2023.

The plan, “Transforming Emergency Care: Campaign for the Cooley Dickinson Emergency Department,” will include the renovation of 17,000 square feet, plus a 6,600-square-foot expansion. In 2019, Cooley Dickinson completed a master plan for facilities, and the Emergency Department was identified as an area greatly in need of expansion and and renovation.

“We looked at the entire institution, and the Emergency Department emerged as the number-one priority,” said Diane Dukette, chief Development officer at Cooley Dickinson. “Then came the pandemic, and that only further heightened that need we had to take over the endoscopy space to create a specialized respiratory Emergency Department.”

This project was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; the initial plan was to start in 2020. However, this has allowed for plenty of time to plan, and those at Cooley Dickinson are feeling optimistic about the current timeline.

Diane Dukette

“We looked at the entire institution, and the Emergency Department emerged as the number-one priority.”

“The more planning you put into this, the better your construction phase is going to be, so we plan to really work with Consigli, our construction manager, to roll out a good phased-construction plan so it goes smoothly,” said Dr. Robert Redwood, an emergency-medicine specialist at the hospital.

Since this project is occurring in an endemic-COVID world, the plan is incorporating HVAC needs like filters and negative airflow throughout the Emergency Department. This will be essential for taking care of patients during an ongoing respiratory pandemic, Redwood said.

The ED expansion and renovation project continues to be the top priority of the organization. The Emergency Department is roughly 40% undersized right now for the population it serves, and that figure does not take into account the Pioneer Valley’s constantly growing population.

Due to the current space limitations in the existing ED, Cooley Dickinson’s staff strategically makes decisions every day about where to put patients. This is not ideal for anyone, but the staff is doing everything they can to ensure patient care, Dukette said.

“Our staff are spending more time doing workarounds and showing up and providing exceptional care in this space,” she told BusinessWest, adding that more space will allow them to do their jobs more efficiently.

Redwood spoke of the ‘triple aim’ in healthcare, which focuses on better outcomes, population health, and patient satisfaction. Now, there’s been considerable interest in a ‘quadruple aim.’ The Institute for Health Improvement has developed a four-part framework which includes care for the care team — something that has been key during this pandemic, he said. This factor will certainly be reflected in the upcoming project.

Dr. Robert Redwood

“We are sort of in the midst of a burnout epidemic as well during the COVID epidemic, and we want our facilities to be a place where staff feel proud to work and are able to take care of patients but also take care of themselves.”

“There’s going to be good lighting for the staff, staff respite areas and we’ll really try to take care of the people providing the care as well,” he said. “We are sort of in the midst of a burnout epidemic as well during the COVID epidemic, and we want our facilities to be a place where staff feel proud to work and are able to take care of patients but also take care of themselves.”

 

Space Exploration

It has been firmly established that crowding in emergency departments leads to poor outcomes, which is especially evident from the ED crowding that has been seen across the nation due to COVID-19. This has only emphasized the importance of streamlined processes where medical professionals can move their patient population through their space and get the emergencies diagnosed and stabilized in a rapid fashion, Redwood said.

“There are time-sensitive drugs,” he explained. “If you come to the emergency department with a stroke, my goal is to get you tPA — it’s called alteplase — within 60 minutes, and a key step there is getting this CT scan in a timely fashion, so the closer the CT is, when it’s co-located in the department, the quicker you can do those critical-care pathways.”

Another focus of this renovation project is creating a more geriatric-friendly facility. This includes features like large hallways, accessible bathrooms, nutrition stations, mobility aids, good acoustics, good signage, and bright lighting.

“These sound like no-brainers now, but they’re really not no-brainers,” Redwood explained. “You have to build it, you have to design it, elegantly. When patients come into the ED with dementia, they can easily have sensory overload, and then have behavioral changes due to sensory overload, so you want to have an environment that supports care for patients with dementia.”

Cooley Dickinson’s Emergency Department has received geriatric emergency department accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians, making it a pioneer within its larger healthcare system, Mass General Brigham. Indeed, it is the first hospital within the 13-hospital system to receive that accreditation. Other facilities in the system are going to follow suit, Redwood noted.

Another improvement to be included in this project is a larger behavioral-health pod, the need for which has only been exacerbated by two years of pandemic.

The phenomenon has been referred to as the “syndemic” — the COVID-19 pandemic plus a mental-health epidemic. Many of the support structures people have for their mental-health needs are lacking, Redwood explained, calling for improvements in behavioral-health resources.

“We’re going to have a dedicated behavioral health pod,” he said. “The current pod for behavioral health has four beds, and, for example, we have pediatric psych warding as a challenge in Massachusetts. We have two patients who have been there for well over a month in the pod, so those are beds that aren’t turning over, they aren’t readily usable. An expanded behavioral-health pod will be just really beneficial for the community.”

As noted, the price tag for the project is $15.5 million. Dr. Lynnette Watkins, president of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, recently announced a $1 million gift given by John and Elizabeth Armstrong of Amherst to contribute to the project. Additional fundraising efforts have been launched in these early stages of the project.

“What’s particularly exciting is that we had a group of individuals that came together to help us get this launched and gave us collectively a million-dollar challenge: to raise a million dollars by March 1, and then they’ll give us another million dollars,” Dukette said.

In regard to that $1 million goal, Cooley Dickinson has $117,000 left to raise over the next two weeks before it can garner the matching $1 million. Toward the end of the year, the hospital anticipates reaching out to the community for fundraising, which will coincide with when construction starts.

“This is a project that truly touches everyone in our community, and the club is honored to support the hospital,” said Steve Roberts, 2021-22 president of the Northampton Rotary Club, on the club’s recent $5,000 gift to the campaign.

 

Bottom Line

Redwood emphasized that, at the end of the day, what the Cooley Dickinson Emergency Department really needs is real estate.

“We need physical beds, and having an expanded footprint will allow us to really meet our community’s needs,” he said. “So we’re building an ED for 40,000 to 48,000 ED visits per year. Right now we’re around 32,000 to 34,000 visits per year, but the Valley is a popular place, it’s only growing, and we know we’re going to need that capacity.”

Both Redwood and Dukette enthusiastically stressed that this project is essential for the well-being of their community.

“We’re extremely proud of the fact that we are very inclusive, and we do everything we can to make whoever shows up in our emergency room feel welcomed and cared for,” Dukette said. “We’re a team.”

Building Permits

The following building permits were issued during the month of March 2019.

AMHERST

57 East Pleasant St., LLC
57 East Pleasant
$46,700 — Renovate existing meeting rooms

Central Amherst Realty Trust
51 East Pleasant St.
$6,000 — Remove wall, install sinks, move gas lines, resurface bar

Gillen Development Corp.
401 Main St.
$3,200 — Relocate two interior doors, install shower

The Green Tree Family, LP
85 North Whitney St.
$14,000 — Construct four offices within existing separation

Roula Kofides
363 Main St.
$2,000 — Replace damaged entry door

Mosaic Real Estate Amherst, LLC
169 Meadow St.
$125,000 — Renovate space for phase 2 of medical waiting and display room

One East Pleasant St.
1 East Pleasant St.
$145,00 — Restaurant buildout

CHICOPEE

4 Perkins, LLC
165 Front St.
$30,000 — Construct two Hollywood-type sets

Center Group, LLC
13 Center St.
$12,000 — Remove existing kitchen hood and install new hood and ductwork

Chicopee Boys Club Inc.
580 Meadow St.
$1,500 — Add non-bearing walls to create lobby space within existing larger lobby

Chicopee Tower Nominee Trust
481 Center St.
$25,000 — Install wireless communications equipment on existing tower and within existing equipment shelter

DEERFIELD

Angel Properties
3 Sugarloaf St.
$6,000 — Interior renovations

EASTHAMPTON

155 Northampton, Easthampton
155 Northampton St.
$1,283,250 — Interior renovations, renovate storefront enclosure

Eastworks, LLP
116 Pleasant St.
$10,000 — Oversee installation of new elevator equipment

EAST LONGMEADOW

American Tower Corp.
30 Benton Dr.
$25,000 — Cell site modification

99 Restaurant
390 Main St.
$12,000 — Repair automobile damage

LG Industries, LLC
194 Pleasant St.
$25,000 — Basement

Town of East Longmeadow
60 Center Square
$25,000 — Renovate bathroom and break room

GREENFIELD

Baystate Franklin Medical Center
164 High St.
$230,870 — Reconfigure interior of Emergency Department to install bathroom and shower for behavioral-health pod

One Arch Place Inc.
46 Wells St.
$10,000 — Construct interior walls, new bathroom

Town of Greenfield
298 Federal St.
$336,000 — Construct interior wall partitions, suspended ceiling

HADLEY

Parmar & Sons
24 Bay Road
Two directional signs and one wall sign at Homewood Suites

Sandri Development Inc.
457 Russell St.
$262,000 — Install new siding, windows, and doors; redo parking lot and sidewalks; and renovate interior to convert former gas station into retail facility

W/S Hadley Properties II, LLC
337 Russell St.
New wall sign and alter tenant panel in existing ground sign at Marshalls

LONGMEADOW

GPT Longmeadow, LLC
674 Bliss Road
$135,000 — Exterior renovations to former Bertucci’s restaurant

GPT Longmeadow, LLC
674 Bliss Road
$125,000 — Interior upgrades to dining area, bar area, and bathrooms at former Bertucci’s restaurant

Longmeadow Historic Preservation
734 Longmeadow St.
$1,014,000 — Construct office spaces in former single-family home

NORTHAMPTON

Billmar Corp.
330 North King St.
$16,906 — Install new electric door at entrance

City of Northampton
123 Haydenville Road
$2,000 — Replace three antennas and add ancillary equipment to telecommunications tower at Smith School

City of Northampton
125 Locust St.
$11,368 — Re-roof storage building for Department of Public Works

City of Northampton
300 North Main St.
$143,000 — Removate two bathrooms at Pines Theater in Look Memorial Park

City of Northampton
6 Water St.
$5,688 — Re-roof building for Water Department

Five College Realtors
92 Main St.
$2,800 — Illuminated wall sign (side)

Five College Realtors
92 Main St.
$2,800 — Illuminated wall sign (front)

P + Q, LLC
110 Main St.
$1,000 — Non-illuminated wall sign for Coldwell Banker

Saga Communication of New England Inc.
15 Hampton Ave.
$12,500 — Install new drop ceiling in conference room, install refrigerator in break room

Konstantinos Sierros
99 Main St.
$8,000 — Remove staircase, construct walk-in keg cooler for JJ’s Tavern

PALMER

JJC Materials, LLC
153 Breckenridge St.
$7,668,000 — Install ground-mount solar array

Yummy Asian
1033 Thorndike St.
$13,931.29 — Install new hibachi, including non-structural wall; hood, ductwork, and wet chemical fire suppression; and CO- and smoke-detection system

SPRINGFIELD

Blue Tarp Redevelopment, LLC
12 MGM Way
$2,000,000 — Alter existing gaming floor area at MGM Springfield for casino island bar

Colebrook Partners South, LLC
511 East Columbus Ave.
$993,000 — Alter tenant pharmacy space, Springfield CTC

Michele Hagan
1930 Wilbraham Road
$30,000 — Interior demolition for future buildout for New Valley Bank

SCP 2001 A-CSF-27, LLC
370 St. James Ave.
$124,700 — Interior renovations and lab upgrades at CVS

SCP 2001 A-CSF-27, LLC
970 St. James Ave.
$124,000 — Interior renovations and lab upgrades at CVS

Springfield MA Post Office Employees Credit Union
264 Brookdale Dr.
$224,360 — Alter interior space in basement and first floor for Pioneer Valley Credit Union

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Town of West Springfield
255 Interstate Dr.
$20,000 — Replace three existing antennas

WILBRAHAM

Town of Wilbraham
28 Springfield St.
$31,975 — Repair existing ramp at rear entrance

Building Permits

The following building permits were issued during the month of December 2018.

CHICOPEE

660 Broadway, LLC
670 Broadway
$16,000 — Convert building for use as Domino’s Pizza; lighting upgrade, separate front lobby from production area, reface exterior sign, new lobby tile and wall tile in production area

Chicopee Falls Polish Home
27 Grove St.
Roofing

Christy Real Estate, LLC
710 Fuller Road
$65,800 — Roofing and related work

EAST LONGMEADOW

Allied Floor
55 North Main St.
$2,850 — Two signs

Cartamundi
443 Shaker Road
$152,855 — Concrete slab

Chipotle
42 Center Square
Sprinkler system

Go Graphix
31 Benton Dr.
$53,325 — Roofing

St. Mark’s Church
1 Porter Road
$3,250 — Wood stove

EASTHAMPTON

F & G, LLC
34 Water Lane
$2,000 — Repair shed in rear yard

Norwich Properties
123-133 Union St.
$4,500 — Install fence along sidewalk

Terah Properties, LLP
81 East St.
$57,500 — Roofing

GREENFIELD

Rosenberg Property, LLC
311 Wells St.
$8,365 — Strip and replace shingles on addition, install new vinyl siding and trim over existing siding, install new ridge vent

Steven Schechterle
402 Federal St.
$10,000 — Install two windows, put up stone veneer and vinyl shakes on storefront

St. James Episcopal Church
8 Church St.
$10,000 — Install insulation on attic floor and basement rim

Syfeld Greenfield Associates
259 Mohawk Trail
Erect sign attached to building, erect sign on existing free-standing pylon

LONGMEADOW

Peter Cooney
Ely Road
$14,400 — Demolish accessory building (barn)

First Church of Christ
763 Longmeadow St.
$20,000 — Add fence

GPT Longmeadow, LLC
666 Bliss Road
$17,369 — Roofing

Town of Longmeadow
62 Wolf Swamp Road
$102,700 — Replace cast-iron sectional boiler

NORTHAMPTON

Andrew Adams and Joya Adams
185 Main St.
$1,050 — Non-illuminated sign for Tim’s Used Books

Blue Sky Real Estate, LLC
269-271 Main St.
$6,000 — Roofing

Castle Pines, LLC
344 King St.
$1,000 — Illuminated clearance sign for Burger King

Castle Pines, LLC
344 King St.
$1,000 — Illuminated order-station sign for Burger King

Castle Pines, LLC
344 King St.
$1,000 — Illuminated wall sign for Burger King

City of Northampton
240 Main St.
$9,000 — Erect two columns in basement for limited first-floor repairs

City of Northampton
170 Glendale Road
$9,900 — Roofing

Malvern Panalytical
45 Industrial Dr.
$3,500 — Install seven replacement windows

Northampton Terminal Assoc., LLP
1 Roundhouse Plaza, Suite 2
$7,000 — Office renovation; remove three walls and rebuild

Northwood Development, LLC
15 Atwood Dr.
$3,500 — Non-illuminated ground sign for Hampshire Probate and Family Court

Kevin Ovitt
55 Damon Road
$2,000 — Illuminated sign for Kevin’s Haircuts

Smith College
18 Henshaw Ave., Unit C
$12,000 — Roofing and rot repair

Smith College
21 Henshaw Ave., Unit A
$5,000 — Roofing and rot repair

D.A. Sullivan & Sons Inc.
84 North St.
$4,000 — Construct exercise room

SPRINGFIELD

Big Y Foods Inc.
2145 Roosevelt Ave.
$233,000 — Alter new employee entrance at Big Y distribution facility

Blue Tarp Redevelopment, LLC
12 MGM Way
$30,000 — Install three projection screens in Commonwealth Bar at MGM Springfield

Marcom Realty, LLC
155 Brookdale Dr.
$353,543 — Alter interior tenant space for Louis and Clark Pharmacy

Mason Wright Senior Living Inc.
73 Walnut St.
$64,845 — Alter former storage room into new daycare classroom

Mercy Medical Center
271 Carew St.
$38,160 — Alter office space for exam room in Oncology suite on first floor of Sister Caritas Cancer Center

Luis Moctezuma
1490 Allen St.
$5,000 — Commercial tenant space for restaurant

Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
577 Carew St.
$20,000 — Remove and replace three roof-mounted antennas and three remote radio units and install one hybrid fiber cable for T-Mobile at Our Lady of Hope Church

SAIA Motor Freight Line, LLC
345 Rocus St.
$320,000 — Alter interior office space

WEST SPRINGFIELD

AAA Pioneer Valley
150 Capital Dr.
$28,584 — Roofing

Agri-Mark Inc.
958 Riverdale St.
$45,000 — Foundation work for installation of a new silo

Mike Bertera
180 Westfield St.
$7,100 — Remove non-bearing wall, build two half-walls, remove cabinets and counter frame in old window and sheetrock

Camel, LLC
1452 Memorial Ave.
$35,000 — Remove and replace existing HVAC rooftop units

Bill Dellagiustina
414 Park St.
$7,820 — Deliver pre-built accessory structure

Bill Dellagiustina
414 Park St.
$3,135 — Deliver pre-built accessory structure

Town of West Springfield
255 Interstate Dr.
$20,000 — Remove three existing remote radio units and install three antennas on new mounts and three remote radio units

Westfield Bank
206 Park St.
$66,162 — Construct four offices, install new doors and wood trim

WILBRAHAM

Ampersand Collins Hydro, LLC
176 Cottage Ave.
$43,500 — Roofing

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