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Holyoke Medical Center Breaks Ground on New Emergency Department & Medical Office Building

Expansion marks major investment in community-based care
Apr 29, 2019

Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) broke ground today on construction for a new state-of the-art Emergency Department that when completed, will expand the current space from 8,500 square feet to approximately 22,000 square feet. The Medical Office Building will be approximately 16,000 square feet.

The project is expected to be completed in spring of 2017. The emergency department will feature a new Crisis Center for Psychiatric Services, 40 treatment areas, multi-patient trauma rooms, advance lifesaving equipment and a patient navigation service. This will allow HMC to treat patients in a more efficient and dignified way.

The medical office building will house a host of new services including a comprehensive weight loss center, sleep apnea clinic and other multi-specialty physician practices. These expanded services will address the current and emerging community health needs of Hampden County, including the sharp rise in obesity and diabetes rates, while also creating new jobs in Holyoke.

“Today’s groundbreaking represents our strong commitment to providing tens of thousands of patients in the Pioneer Valley with access to convenient and compassionate lifesaving care,” said Spiros Hatiras, President and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, Inc. “HMC’s new Emergency Department and Medical Office Building will offer the latest in medical technology, a broader range of emergency services and highly skilled clinicians dedicated to serving our community.”

Funding for this project is provided partially by the Commonwealth’s Health Policy Commission (HPC), through Phase 2 of the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation Investment Program, also known as “CHART.” which aims to promote care coordination, integration, and delivery transformation to enhance Massachusetts community hospitals’ delivery of efficient and effective care. The $3.9 million grant supports the integration of new behavioral health services in the Emergency Department.

“Our partnership with community hospitals is a critical part of HPC’s efforts to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost containment and quality improvement goals,” said David Seltz, Executive Director of the HPC. “CHART hospitals were issued a challenge: Propose initiatives that will put you on a path of transformation, while meeting the critical health care needs of your community. Today, I’m pleased to report that HMC exceeded that challenge. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Holyoke community to build a more coordinated and affordable health care system.”

HMC’s award was the highest award for a single hospital in CHART Phase 2 and reflects the recognition of the need for improved conditions as well as the vital role HMC plays in the greater Holyoke community.

HMC will leverage an innovative multidisciplinary high risk care team, known as the Behavioral Health Emergency Care Service, to support all patients with behavioral health conditions in the emergency department. At the same time, this highly coordinated initiative will introduce robust care navigation in partnership with community-based organizations to ensure that patients receive targeted interventions, including those necessary to address the high incidence of complex, challenging social issues, and are referred to the right services for successful follow through on individualized care plans. A portion of this investment will also support Holyoke’s efforts to redesign their emergency department, and will create a separate healing and therapeutic behavioral health space in the emergency room designed to reduce patient anxiety, streamline patient flow and improve overall quality of care in a safe and secure environment.

Additional financing partners for the total project budget of $22.8 million include Valley Health Systems, MassDevelopment, People’s United Bank, JPMorgan Chase and A.I. Wainwright.

Last year over 42,500 patients visited Holyoke Medical Center’s Emergency Department, and the department will continue to serve the greater Holyoke community throughout the construction phase of the project.

About Holyoke Medical Center:

Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) is a 198-bed facility with over 1,200 employees serving individuals and families throughout the cities and towns of the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts. The medical staff includes more than 300 physicians and consulting staff. Among some of top-rated services at HMC is the award-winning HMC Stroke Service which has been consistently rated as one of the best in the state by The American Heart and Stroke Association. Areas of clinical emphasis also include behavioral health, critical care, emergency care, orthopedics, oncology, rehabilitation, women’s health services, and speech and hearing services. HMCis a member of Valley Health Systems in Holyoke which also includes the affiliates Holyoke Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Life Care, Western Mass Physician Associates and River Valley Counseling Center.

About the Health Policy Commission:

The HPC is an independent state agency that seeks to advance a more transparent, accountable, and innovative health care system through independent policy leadership and investment programs.. To learn more, please visit or follow the HPC on Twitter @Mass_HPC.

About CHART:

Established through the Commonwealth’s landmark cost containment law, Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, CHART is a $120 million reinvestment program funded by an assessment on large health systems and commercial insurers that will make phased investments for certain Massachusetts community hospitals to enhance their delivery of efficient, effective care. CHART hospitals share the common characteristics of being non-profit, non-teaching, and having relatively lower prices than many other hospitals. The goal of the program is to promote care coordination, integration, and delivery transformations; advance electronic health records adoption and information exchange among providers; increase alternative payment methods and accountable care organizations; and enhance patient safety, access to behavioral health services, and coordination between hospitals and community-based providers and organizations.