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Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s new surgery building opens June 27

June 23, 2016
Baystate Franklin Medical Center Surgery Center

Final preparations have begun for the June 27th opening of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s 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 25th and 26th. The first patients are scheduled for surgery at 7:30 am on Monday, June 27th.

During the weekend of June 25th and 26th, the present surgery suites will be closed while equipment is being moved to prepare for Monday’s opening. Carol Schmekel, RN, interim director of Surgical Services explained, “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.”

Surgery Modernization Project

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 is 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.

Ensuring Top Quality Local Care 

Creating state-of-the-art surgical space to keep care local and attract new physician talent to the area, and provide more comfortable, private patient-care areas, have been the driving themes behind this project from the start. These goals are shared by Baystate Franklin and its parent health care system, Baystate Health, which also owns Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Baystate Health has been actively working to provide the highest possible level of services close to patients’ homes in communities across western Massachusetts.

Brian Hoffman, MD, chair of Surgery at BFMC and medical director of Baystate Medical Practices – Pioneer Orthopedics, commented, “All the surgeons at BFMC are eager to move in to our spacious new quarters. 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.

Comfortable, Private Facilities

The new building also includes 20 pre/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 specifically designed to provide the most comfortable experience for patients and their families.

How You Can Support Local Care

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, Baystate Health Foundation. “We are still welcoming gifts from community members and our own BFMC family.” Make a gift to the Keeping Care Local campaign online,  or call 413-773-2763.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center Keeping Care Local Campaign

Under the volunteer leadership of co-chairs Robbie and Mary Cohn and honorary co-chairs, Charles and Elizabeth Barker, Baystate Franklin Medical Center's Keeping Care Local Campaign raised $5 million toward the new $26 million surgical center, which opened June 27. Featured photos below are from the campaign's donor reception and celebration held on May 11. View the list of donors.