Change begets change. Growth begets growth. Nowhere is this truer than in the bustling Emergency Department (ED) of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth (BID Plymouth). Even before COVID-19, the rapidly growing Plymouth and Barnstable Counties were relying on the hospital’s ED more every day. Originally designed to accommodate 25,000 visits a year, the department is now handling double that volume. As the facility continues to meet the community’s increasing needs, that same community is providing essential philanthropic support, with several lead gifts already committed.

The rising demand for the ED is about more than population growth. Another key factor is the demand for higher acuity, or more complex, care. “Being part of the Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) network means more acute care is offered right here in Plymouth,” says Chief Medical Officer Tenny Thomas, MD, an emergency medicine physician who sees patients in the ED several times a month. “We are providing the highest level of care in our area. This, along with the pandemic’s aftereffects, means we are seeing more critical patients who require longer stays.”

Philanthropy Committee Chair and generous donor Charles “Chuck” Hewitt says he was drawn to support the endeavor because of its potential impact, both for people in need and the community as a whole. “When someone comes in requiring a top-level specialist or surgeon, they’re already connected to the world-class resources of the entire BILH network,” says Chuck. “Many of those top specialists are right here in our hospital, and often they are the same specialists who are also practicing in the city.” Chuck notes that access to this level of care makes the region more attractive to home buyers and even companies looking to relocate. Emergency Department Director Karen Giorgianni is in full agreement about the project’s pivotal nature. “This renovation is vital to attracting and retaining top ED staff across the board,” says Giorgianni. “We want to ensure we can keep our amazing talent right here in Plymouth, and this in turn will only help us maintain superior care.”

This vital three-phase project to advance patient privacy and staff efficiency is already well underway. In 2021, the hospital added twelve private rooms, two nurses’ stations, and a waiting room. Phase two, planned for completion in fall 2023, will add twenty-five observation beds available for lower acuity patients who do not require inpatient care. The final phase will involve further expansion of the ED’s facilities, geared toward enhancing the patient experience. “The ED project will first reduce current wait times and improve the service provided,” says Chuck. “And in the long-term, we are really building for the future.”

The ED is the hospital’s highest philanthropic priority, and several donors have already made significant gifts—but continued support is key. Local supporters hope their giving will inspire many in the community to join them. “Many hospital expenses cannot be reimbursed, particularly capital costs,” says an early donor, pointing out that BID Plymouth’s superior care is resource-intensive. “Many assume emergency care is free for all, and that could not be further from the truth.”

The goal is to continue to provide extraordinary care with more space, state-of-the-art equipment, and thoughtful design. As always, Plymouth’s ED will continue meeting the needs of today—with flexibility to respond to whatever tomorrow may bring.

Make a gift today to support Plymouth’s top priorities, including the ED.