Cooley Dickinson Hospital Breaks Ground On $50 Million Expansion Project

NORTHAMPTON – More than 100 community members turned out at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on April 22 for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off CDH’s $50 million expansion project.


The hospital’s $8.5 million fundraising campaign, coined Caring for the Future, was also unveiled at the event. Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins officiated the historic event that included presentations from two employees and a physician, announcements from the Caring for the Future campaign co-chairs, and the official groundbreaking to signal the start of the two-year construction project.

Hospital president and CEO Craig Melin commented on the years of planning that have gone into this project as well as the cooperation and collaboration of hundreds of people, including CDH employees, physicians, volunteers, Smith Vocational High School, and other hospital neighbors, the City of Northampton, architects, builders and many others. Elected officials Congressman Richard Neal and state Reps. Peter Kocot, John Scibak, and Ellen Story attended the event.

Melin introduced community members and business leaders David K. Scott and William T. Stapleton, co-chairs of the Caring for the Future campaign. Scott, former chancellor of UMass Amherst, said that during his days as chancellor, “we relied heavily on Cooley Dickinson for our students as well as for many of our faculty and staff. I got to know the important work CDH does.”

Scott announced that, as of April 22, $2.6 million or one third of the $8.5 million goal had been raised from the hospital’s closest constituencies. The Cooley Dickinson Hospital Auxiliary, a volunteer group that raises funds for hospital patients and services, pledged $400,000. Employees and physicians are more than halfway toward a combined goal of $1.5 million.

Stapleton, president of Northampton Cooperative Bank, spoke about the high-quality health care Cooley Dickinson Hospital provides to the Hampshire County region. “As the number-two employer in the region, the hospital is also crucial to the economic life of the county,” he noted. “When you put those two factors together, the hospital’s growth and expansion becomes an overwhelmingly compelling issue, and it should be supported.”