Work Begins on Putnam Hospital Emergency Room Project

John Jordan | October 2017

Putnam Hospital Center officials turned the first dirt on the emergency room expansion project on Sept. 28th.

CARMEL—Putnam Hospital Center recently broken ground on a major capital project—the expansion and refurbishment of its emergency department.

The project, which will take about two years to complete, was necessary due to the increased patient load at the emergency room. Putnam Hospital Center President Peter Kelly, in an interview with Real Estate In-Depth, said that the emergency department had 27,115 patient visits last year and the department is expected to treat close to 28,000 by the end of 2017.

The project will almost double the size of the existing emergency department at Putnam Hospital Center. The existing emergency department was last renovated in 2005 and was designed to accommodate 17,000 patient visits a year, he noted. In the next three to five years the hospital estimates it will see between 30,000 to 32,000 patient visits to the emergency room a year.

The emergency department will be fully operational during the two-year, $9-million project. Kelly explained that the project, designed by Steffian Bradley Architects, will involve the addition of 8,400 square feet of space that will include 11 additional treatment bays, a new nurses station, along with separate ambulance and pedestrian entrances to improve safety and flow. The emergency department will also have enhanced triage treatment areas, a new results-pending room, enlarged ambulance bays for better access, interior modifications to the existing unit and parking improvements. Once work on the addition is completed, the emergency department will move to the new space so that improvements can then be made on the existing emergency department space. In the end, patients will be treated “in one large contiguous well-designed emergency room,” Kelly added.

Putnam Hospital Center held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project on Sept. 28 that was attended by approximately 100 community members, local leaders, hospital employees, members of the Health Quest and Putnam Hospital Center boards of trustees, the Putnam Hospital Center Foundation and Putnam Hospital Center Auxiliary. HealthQuest is the parent company of Putnam Hospital Center that also owns and operates Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, Vassar Medical Center in Poughkeepsie and Sharon Hospital in Sharon, CT, which joined the network in August 2017.

The 161-bed Putnam Hospital Center, which is the only full-service hospital in Putnam County, has more than 1,000 employees, including more than 900 full-time workers. The hospital also serves patients in Northern Westchester and Southern Dutchess counties.

“As a physician in the Putnam Hospital Center community since 2007, I am proud and excited to be involved with the expansion,” Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Keyur Ajbani said at the ceremony. “The commitment of resources this endeavor requires truly signifies the hospital’s commitment to providing Putnam County residents and neighboring communities with state-of-the-art medical facilities so they can experience medical care at its best. We strive for excellence in our emergency department, and this expansion will provide us with the platform to deliver that care.”

“This project is a reaffirmation of Putnam Hospital Center’s commitment to provide accessible and convenient high-quality medical services to the residents of Putnam County and beyond,” Kelly added.

He noted that while the additional space is important, the design of the space is also significant. In fact when Kelly first joined the hospital in August 2016, he was not pleased with the project design process and solicited the assistance of more than 20 doctors, nurses, environmental service workers, EMTs and other staff to ascertain their needs that in the end improved the design and “rebooted the project in early 2017.”

“We feel that the outcome (design) was one that will be extremely user friendly, meaning both to the providers and the patients, because we really designed it really with patient access, patient safety and patient comfort in mind also,” Kelly said.

He offered high praise to the County Executive, Deputy County Executive and other county departments, as well as local officials that assisted the hospital in securing the necessary approvals to begin construction.

“The support from the Putnam County leadership in terms of working through the systems to secure approvals was extremely cooperative because they understand we are an important resource,” Kelly said.

The enhancements and renovations are paid in part by contributions made by the auxiliary and other fundraising efforts. Putnam Hospital Center and HealthQuest are providing the funding for the project. The fully expanded and refurbished emergency department is expected to be open for patient care in late 2019.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth