GREENFIELD — Final preparations have begun for the opening Monday, June 27 of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s (BFMC) new surgery building. Construction has been completed, new equipment is being moved in, and the final steps of cleaning and sterilization are underway. The move from the old surgical suites to the new building will take place over the weekend of June 25-26. The first patients are scheduled for surgery at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, June 27.
Over the weekend, the present surgery suites will be closed while equipment is being moved to prepare for Monday’s opening. Carol Schmekel, interim director of Surgical Services, explained that “we want our community to be assured that, though we are closing down for the move, one surgery room will be available if a surgical emergency should arise over the weekend.”
The $26 million Surgery Modernization Project will replace the existing surgical suite with four new, larger operating rooms and related patient-care areas. It also includes renovation of the existing surgery suite for relocation of the endoscopy unit so that it is directly adjacent to the surgery area.
The new, 55,000-square-foot building includes four state-of-the-art surgical suites, one at 500 square feet, two at 650 square feet, and the fourth at 750 square feet; the average size of the current operating rooms is 450 square feet. The increased size will be able to house large pieces of medical equipment necessary for complex surgical procedures. One of the rooms is also lead-lined to accommodate today’s advanced technologies and more intricate procedures, as well as future surgical technologies.
“All the surgeons at BFMC are eager to move in to our spacious new quarters,” said Dr. Brian Hoffman, chair of Surgery at BFMC and medical director of Baystate Medical Practices – Pioneer Orthopedics. “Though we always have been performing high-quality surgery in our old operating rooms, they are smaller, less efficient, and have aging infrastructures. Between having more space in the ORs and having sterile processing and surgical equipment right next door, we will be able to work much more efficiently.”
Presently, sterile processing is located on the ground floor, beneath the surgical suites, and surgical equipment must be transported along corridors and up the elevator.
The new building also includes 20 pre- and post-op patient bays, separated by walls rather than curtains, for more patient comfort and privacy. After their surgery, patients will return to the same area where they were prepped for surgery, potentially even to the same bay. The post-anesthesia care unit, new waiting room, lobby, and healing garden were designed to provide a comfortable experience for patients and their families.
The surgery-modernization project is being funded in part through BFMC’s Campaign for Keeping Care Local. Volunteer campaign co-chairs Robbie and Mary Cohn and honorary co-chairs Charles and Betty Barker led the successful $5 million campaign. “We are close to our $5 million goal, thanks to the kind support of community members and staff,” said Jane Albert, executive director of the Baystate Health Foundation. “We are still welcoming gifts from community members and our own BFMC family.”
To make a gift to the Keeping Care Local campaign, visit www.baystatehealth.org/giving/carelocal or call (413) 773-2763.