Bruce Nardella traces his roots to Beverly Hospital and describes how his great-grandmother, then a patient at Beverly Hospital, played matchmaker by introducing a particular nurse-in-training to her grandson. The nurse? Bruce’s mother.
His commitment to Beverly Hospital has traversed his life spent primarily in this community, and Bruce and his wife Pam welcomed 2021 with a generous gift to help expand our emergency department (ED) through the addition of a new observation unit. This expansion will increase our ED capacity by 25 percent, adding 12 additional rooms for patient care. The state-of-the-art space will incorporate a host of pandemic-ready features and include an additional ambulance entrance separate from the main ED.
Saul Cohen, MD, chair of emergency medicine, explained that every aspect of the design reflects learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and incorporates the best infection prevention and control measures available. The physical expansion will add newly constructed space for an observation unit contiguous to the current ED, extending the front of the building to the end of the hospital’s main entrance.
The observation unit’s purpose is to provide continuity of care for patients who need time for additional testing and/or monitoring, including cardiac-rule out events.
“It’s going to be phenomenal,” said Dr. Cohen. “The trend in emergency medicine is to have a contiguous observation unit as part of a state-of-the-art emergency department. When we renovated Beverly Hospital’s ED about 10 years ago, observation medicine was in its infancy. Now it has become essential.”
Moving patients who have been triaged but still require observation as they await test results from the ED space to the observation unit will mean shorter wait times for people entering the hospital for emergency care. “This frees treatment space so that we can see more patients and decrease wait times,” explained Dr. Cohen.
COVID-19 has only heightened the need for a strong Beverly Hospital and a pandemic-ready ED. A former Beverly city councilman and a current member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees, Bruce’s perspective of the hospital’s value in the community and its capacity to serve Beverly and surrounding towns has shifted and deepened over time. “My family has had multi-generational experiences with the ED, from our kids’ childhood injuries to our aging parents’ emergency needs,” he said. “And as the city council president, I learned more about how having a healthy community relies on having a healthy community healthcare institution, and our experience with COVID has only magnified that ongoing need.”
Bruce’s financial support grew over the years, and he says he was proud to increase gifts as he was able to do more, to support his community’s health.
“I know firsthand how your view of the hospital is often shaped by your experience in the emergency room – how you’re greeted, how long you wait, how long it takes to be diagnosed once you’ve been seen,” he said. “We understand how critical emergency care is to each patient and the community, and the observation unit will make an enormous difference for patients. As a hospital trustee and co-chair of the philanthropy committee, I can say that this is the top funding priority in 2021 to help us come out of the pandemic even stronger.”
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ED Expansion Highlights
12-bed observation unit
Improved infection prevention measures, including:
– New ambulance entry
– Negative-pressure air unit
– Additional handwashing sinks
Additional pandemic-ready features:
– UV lighting
– Touchless switches
– Mobile equipment placement
– Medical Air for ventilators
– High flow oxygen
– Intercom system
– Infusion pumps outside of room
– Vital sign monitoring outside of room
– HEPA filtration
– Smart TV to allow patient/family video calls