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Copley Surgery Suite

  
     by Mickey Smith
 
     MORRISTOWN – By next year, Copley Hospital hopes to break ground on a new surgical suite on the backside of the building near the rehabilitation building (PT). Entrance to the new surgical waiting area will be through the main lobby at what is now a large window between the gift shop and registration area.


The plans for the new surgical suite at Copley Hospital.  The main entry to the building is at the left side of the image with the new construction on the right. At far right the three new operating rooms can be seen.  New beds for pre-op are shown on the bottom and up the left side, with the recovery rooms in the center. Also in the center can be found the nurses’ stations and staff changing rooms. At the top  are the new procedure rooms.
- Image courtesy of Copley Hospital

     The new surgical unit will replace the former smoking shack (now a bus stop) and use part of the back parking lot. Despite this, Leah Hollenberger, vice-president of Development & Community Relations at Copley Hospital, said they will be increasing the parking in the back. She said enough earth will need to be removed for the new wing to fill the area off the south side of the parking lot.  She said this will allow them to increase the parking by 17 spaces.
     Along with the changes to the parking lot, they plan to reconfigure the exit from the hospital, making a permanent exit which goes out the backside of the building and comes out on Farr Avenue (similar to what was done during the construction of the new emergency department). The new building will also necessitate moving the entrance to the PT wing; Hollenberger said the new PT entrance will be closer to the back of the building.
     The next step in the process is obtaining a Certificate of Need (CON) from the Green Mountain Care Board. The application has been submitted for the $12.5 million dollar project. A CON is needed for all proposed projects over $3 million. Hollenberger said the CON process is estimated to take between three and six months. It includes an independent review of the design, which she said is done out of state.
     The new surgical suite will include three operating rooms,  much like their current configuration, but will offer  greatly expanded pre-operative and recovery areas. Copley Hospital President Mel Patashnick said the design will allow some of the pre-op beds to be convert to post-op as the day progresses and the need changes.
     He said Copley Hospital is available for a variety of types of surgery. Along with general surgery, they also perform cataract operations, ob/gyn urology, and orthopedic surgery. He said they also have an oral surgeon who does full mouth reconstructions. The procedure rooms will be moved from the Outpatient Services Center to the new suite, allowing the sharing of pre-op and recovery space.
     While the new suite does not increase the number of operating rooms, the hospital plans to keep one of the old OR spaces for the adjacent Birthing Center.
     The new space will also allow the hospital to make necessary upgrades to modernize the space.  Hollenberger said things such as the required distance from a bed to a wall has changed since the hospital was built and these changes will help get the space up to federal standards.
     “If you have to be in the hospital, we want it to be as pleasant as possible,” said Patashnick, explaining they have all the modern equipment and now want to have a modern space as well.
     The rectangular space will include a diagonal hallway down the center coming from the direction of the   procedure rooms as well as the Emergency department.  This will reduce time during a crisis.
     The surgical suite will also have a dedicated waiting room, as well as private area where doctors can consult with family members.
     To meet the $12.5 million price tag, Copley plans to use working capital as well as a loan.  They are also in the process of raising $3.2 million in donations through a capital campaign. Hollenberger said they are about 65% of the way to their goal. Of course, donations are always welcomed.
     Patashnick said they have been very appreciative of the support and generosity of the community and noted that is shows the value the community places in the hospital.
     Designs for the project were prepared by the Burlington-based firm, Freeman French and Freeman.  Hollenberger said they designed the new utility plant a few years ago, and H.P. Cummings, the contractor for the ED will lead the construction.
     The project is expected to take about 18 months from the time ground is broke.



This Week's Photos

A lone balloon with Mt. Mansfield as a backdrop from the Stowe Balloon Festival, Saturday, July 12. Taken from Stagecoach Rd. near the Morristown/Stowe line.
- Gordon Decker photo





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