SVMC's Emergency Dept. Renovation and Expansion Approved
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SVMC's Emergency Dept. Renovation and Expansion Approved

BENNINGTON, VT—December 24, 2020—The Green Mountain Care Board, Vermont’s regulatory healthcare board, granted Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), a Certificate of Need (CON) for a $26 million project to modernize and expand its Emergency Department and renovate its main entrance and public areas on the ground floor. Traffic and parking improvements are also included. The regulatory approval was necessary to proceed with the project.

“Our current emergency department was designed to serve 12,000 – 13,000 patients per year, but it currently accommodates about twice that number,” said Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, SVHC’s president and CEO. “Modernizing the Emergency Department will create a space equal to the highly skilled and compassionate care provided by our board-certified emergency physicians, Magnet® nurses, and members of our support team.”

The design doubles the square footage of the department and includes the expanded presence of the teleEmergency service in coordination with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. Touch-free motion-activated doors and walls that inhibit sound from room to room are also part of the design. The addition of high-acuity, low-acuity, and collaborative care areas are expected to reduce wait times and improve the patient and provider experience. An expanded space for patients experiencing emergency behavioral health issues is also in the plan.

The renovation of the main entrance will relocate high-traffic services, including the lab and imaging registration, closer to the front of the hospital building for ease of navigation for patients.

The SVHC Foundation has created a capital campaign called VISION 2020. The campaign includes improvements to the Emergency Department, the main hospital entrance, and the expansion and renovation of the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center.

Numerous donations have been secured to date as the Foundation continues its campaign. The Kendall Family, owners of Mack, a provider of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts based in Arlington, VT, made a major gift to the Emergency Department project. The Emergency Department will be renamed the Kendall Emergency Department in honor of the Kendall Family. 

“The new Kendall Emergency Department will dramatically improve the overall care experience for patients and families,” said Adam Cohen, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department. “It will also provide our clinical team with the setting and tools to practice critical care medicine at the highest level.”

The health system expects to break ground on the project in the spring of 2021. Completion is scheduled for the fall of 2023.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It ranked forth nationwide for the value of care it provides by the Lown Institute Hospital Index. It is a four-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. It has also received the highest marks possible from The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Leapfrog Group. 

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provides exceptional care without discriminating on the basis of an individual’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.

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