Bostons Massachusetts General Hospital has received state approval for a $498 million expansion that will include a new building, surgical suites, patient beds and an expanded emergency department.
There are (patient) capacity issues, and the focus here is solving the problem of ambulance diversion and providing beds, said David Hanitchak, Massachusetts Generals director of planning and construction.
The project was unanimously approved by the Massachusetts Public Health Council and is to date the states most expensive hospital construction project. Hospital officials expect to begin demolishing existing campus facilities late this year and break ground on a new, 10-story building by May 2008. It should be ready by mid-2011, said Hanitchak.
The construction project will increase the hospitals operating rooms from 52 to 71 and patient beds from 902 to 1,052. It will also retool the emergency department. Well have a whole new trauma area and a different entry system, Hanitchak said. The new surgical suites will be as generic as possible, but will include orthopedic and neurology specialty suites, he added. The patient rooms will include space for visiting family members, and construction will also address traffic flow and parking problems. We plan to make this as green a building as possible, Hanitchak said.
The nearly half-billion-dollar price tag includes the cost of new equipment and furniture to outfit the new facilities. The state funding agreement requires Massachusetts General to donate $18.6 million to 26 community initiatives, including community health centers, and drug- and violence-prevention programs. -- by Shawn Rhea