Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center to be ‘centerpiece’ of new hospital

Date: 7/4/2011

SPRINGFIELD — Senior administrators, physicians, staff and trustees from Baystate Health, and business and community leaders gathered recently to announce the naming of the Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center, the centerpiece of Baystate Medical Center’s $296 million Hospital of the Future set to open in March 2012.

The new heart and vascular center is named for the Davis family of Longmeadow. Their philanthropic giving represents a significant portion of the $20 million in contributions raised to date for the $23 million Campaign for Baystate Medical Center.

John Davis serves as chair of the Campaign, and was joined at the event by his wife, Robyn, and brother Stephen who along with sister Jane Kusek, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and mother Mary (deceased) also contributed to their family commitment to support this world-class facility being built at Baystate Medical Center. Having the Davis family’s distinguished name on the Heart and Vascular Center elevates the status of the Center and it demonstrates the importance and impact of community philanthropic support on continued growth, quality and patient centered care at Baystate Health.

“This spectacular new facility will touch the life of every person in western Massachusetts,” Davis said. “In leading this campaign, I’ve heard dozens of stories — amazing and moving stories — of people’s life-changing experiences with Baystate doctors, nurses and staff. The remarkable contributions of Baystate Health to our community Ieave me more inspired than ever.”

The first phase of the hospital of the Future project is on schedule and on budget for opening next year. As part of the project, the Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center will include six surgical/endovascular suites designed to accommodate advanced lifesaving cardiovascular procedures and 32 cardiovascular critical-care rooms that will support state-of-the-art medicine and at the same time provide ample room for the comforting presence of a patient’s family and friends, known to make the patients’ experience better.

“We are building this facility as a community — listening to each other, learning from each other and together, planning for the future,” Susan Toner, vice president of Development for Baystate Health and executive director of the Baystate Health Foundation, said.

Baystate Health President and CEO Mark R. Tolosky and family were also significant contributors to the capital campaign.

“The Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center and the Hospital of the Future are long-term investments in the future health of the people of western Massachusetts,” Tolosky said. “We are incredibly proud as a family to be part of that investment, and we’re incredibly touched by the response we received when we reached out for support for this campaign.”

Toner also paid special tribute to the contributions of another group: The Baystate Health physicians who not only helped to design the new facility, but also have been active participants in fundraising and advocacy efforts.

“Every step of the way, our physicians have recognized the importance of this facility to their patients and to the future of our community; every step of the way, they have matched their passion and vision with their time, talent and resources,” she said. “This state-of-the-art facility will meet crucial needs. And the generous gifts of the Davis family, the Tolosky family and many others are leading the way.”

Voluntary financial contributions from doctors, senior administrators and many other Baystate employees make up another substantial part of the $20 million raised to support the financing for the Hospital of the Future project. In addition to philanthropic support, the remainder of the project cost is being paid by a special bond issue undertaken by Baystate Health, and by the organization’s own capital. Tax credits intended to spur construction in economically challenged areas such as Baystate’s North End neighborhood have helped secure favorable financing.

“The generosity of our employees to this campaign is a testament to our workforce’s dedication to our community,” Toner said.

The Hospital of the Future project has also created several hundred construction-related jobs, the majority of which are going to local firms.

The project timeline itself represents a response to community needs. Late last year Baystate accelerated the timing for a new Emergency Department (ED) at Baystate Medical Center into the latter part of the construction project’s first phase. The new ED, triple the size of the existing ED and with specially designated pediatric, trauma, and behavioral health treatment areas, will enable the hospital — one of the busiest in the nation for emergency care — to better accommodate the enormous demand for those services. The new, expanded ED will open in autumn 2012.

Charles L. D’Amour was chair of the Baystate Health board of trustees at the time of the decision to build the new facility, and has watched the project evolve from dream to plan to bricks and mortar.

“Amid tremendous economic uncertainty, the trustees and leadership of Baystate Health made a courageous decision in moving forward with this crucial project for the health of the people in western Massachusetts. It is the right decision, without a doubt, and I have never been more proud of the Baystate organization,” D’Amour said.

The project’s first phase is now 86 percent complete, and will result in 60 percent of the overall facility space being built out in 2012. The remainder will be conserved as shell space for future development as community needs require.

The Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center will expand the offerings and capabilities of a heart and vascular program that is already among the nation’s best. Baystate Medical Center is the only hospital in New England among Thomson Reuters’ 2011 Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals and is a Leapfrog Top Hospital for quality of care and patient safety.

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