On October 17, 2017, Patricia Allard suddenly lost her ability to communicate.
After taking her mother grocery shopping that day, Kathy Allard Fountain left to pick up her daughter, Katelyn, at field hockey practice. When they returned, twenty minutes later, it was clear that something was wrong.
“We could tell that she understood us – but we couldn’t understand her,” Kathy remembers. “Then we noticed that the left side of her face was affected.”
“I had trouble retrieving my words, but I had no pain and my thought processes weren’t impaired,” Patricia recalls. “I actually didn’t believe I was having a stroke.”
In the Emergency Department at Baystate Wing Hospital, Patricia was given tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which can dissolve blood clots. She was then transferred to Baystate Medical Center for inpatient care.
Straight from the heart
Incredibly, two weeks later, Patricia was in the Bahamas, on a pre-planned vacation. Today, she lives an independent, active life at home in Warren.
“The doctors and nurses at both Baystate Wing and Baystate Medical Center were phenomenal,” Patricia said. “I could tell that everything they do comes straight from the heart.”
Kathy vividly remembers the compassion of her mother’s care team members during those first frantic hours at Baystate Wing Hospital.
“The memory of all those caring eyes will stay with me, always,” Kathy said.
“The Allard family’s experience speaks to both the excellence of our care teams and the value of Baystate Health’s integrated health system,” says Michael Moran, president and chief administrative officer for Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. “Every Baystate Health hospital is a portal to every other service available in our system – and, should a patient need to be transported to another facility for specialized care, that integration makes the experience as seamless and stress-free as possible.”
Streamlined care and special touches
Patricia’s experience was one of 21,600 patient encounters last year in the Baystate Wing Emergency Department – a facility built to accommodate about 10,000 patient visits annually. Today, patients are treated in a new ED – opened on September 18 – that’s designed to treat 24,000 patients every year in a state-of-the-art care environment.
“Our new ED features 18 private rooms, to enhance patient privacy, as well as a fast track service,” says Robert Spence, MD, emergency department director at Baystate Wing. “We’ve also moved imaging into the ED, expediting results and streamlining care.”
“In addition to the clinical impact of the facility improvements, our new ED is designed with many special touches – such as natural light in most of the treatment rooms – that add up to an improved care experience,” notes nurse manager Kimberly Davis.
The power of giving
Donors to the Baystate Wing Emergency Department Campaign – including Country Bank, which contributed $1 million, and numerous individuals and families who made generous gifts – were pivotal to the opening of the new facility.
Ed Noonan, a fifth-generation leader of the family-owned Noonan Energy and a Baystate
Health trustee, co-chaired the Campaign with his wife, Ellen, who has served in leadership positions at American International College in Springfield and co-chairs the Patient and Family Advisory Council for both Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing. The Noonans brought a long history of generosity and passion for community service to the effort – along with an astute appreciation for the power of philanthropy in driving leading-edge healthcare.
“Philanthropy really moves the needle when it comes to building care environments that advance leading-edge diagnosis and treatment,” says Ed Noonan. “Ellen and I were proud to chair the Campaign, and we’re very grateful for the support of so many of our friends and neighbors.”
“Our emergency medicine professionals and facilities – a network of emergency departments anchored by the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center at Baystate Medical Center – play a vital role in our region,” says Nancy Shendell-Falik, Baystate Medical Center president and Baystate Health senior vice president of operations. “Planning for the new Emergency Department at Baystate Wing Hospital began several years ago, and it’s wonderful to see all of that thoughtful work culminate in the opening of a facility that reflects the excellence of the team that will provide care here – as well as the generosity of all who helped to make it possible through charitable giving.”