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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

NARH New Surgical Services: High-Tech, State-Of-The-Art

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, January 26, 2006

New operating room at NARH
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North Adams – The North Adams Regional Hospital was a place of hustle and bustle on Jan. 25, as patients and medical personnel occupied a newly-opened first section of surgical services unit and construction workers continued renovation and construction work at other areas of the medical facility.

With the mid-January surgical services opening, all medical services provided by the unit are delivered on one floor and with a much improved focus on patient privacy. Two operating rooms are accepting patients and two more are under construction. Nurses’ stations are hubs of activity and pre- and post-operative rooms have accepted and discharged patients.

"The Best In The Region"


Oral surgeon Dr. David Rothschild has used the new surgical accomodations.
Oral surgeon Dr. David Rothschild had just completed a Jan. 25 surgery within the new space. Rothschild offered high praise for the new operating rooms and the surgical amenities.

“This is high-tech, state-of-the-art; the best in the region,” Rothschild said.

Nurse anesthetist David Face said the operating rooms are superior spaces.

“I love it,” he said. “I worked at SVMC [Southern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, Vt.] when they went into their new space and this is even bigger.”

New Equipment In ORs

The rooms feature new equipment, much of which is suspended from the ceilings via jointed, metal “arms” known as “booms.” Bright OR lights and additional equipment may be positioned to best advantage over the operating tables. Flat-screen monitors used during laparoscopic procedures also use “booms” and can be adjusted to fit the needs of a surgeon.

“People have been really pleased with what they are seeing,” said NARH Community Relations Director Paul Hopkins.

The second phase of the surgical services renovation is expected to open in April. Additional work includes a new hospital lobby, a new Emergency Department and a new maternity unit. One section of the new Emergency department is nearing completion and will be used while existing emergency care facilities are renovated and revamped, Hopkins said.

Community Confidence

The about $23 million hospital reconstruction project is capturing enormous public interest as construction unfolds and specific areas reach near completion. Local newspapers sent reporters to tour and photograph the site and Roy Thompson, host of the Northern Berkshire Community Television program “Hardline,” visited the hospital in anticipation of a 7 p.m. Jan. 30 live broadcast. “Hardline” will focus on the hospital project and Thompson’s expected guests are Hopkins and NARH Vice-president of Patient Care Services Billie Allard.

Nurse anesthetist David Face had words of praise for the new Surgical Services Unit.


The hospital project is “very impressive,” Thompson said.

“I am impressed with what’s been done and what’s being built,” he said. “This is really a confidence builder for the community.”

A Focus on Patients


Surgical Services Unit secretary Cindy Bird schedules patients.
The hospital’s Critical Care Unit opened in December. NARH Nursing Director of Surgical Services Lou Ann Quinn is an experienced critical care nurse and said the unit is a source of pride. The unit was designed with patient comfort as a top priority, she said.

“I am so proud of this unit,” she said. “For those of us who were critical care nurses, to see the people being cared for in appropriate facilities is really big. We designed these rooms therapeutically, as we would want it if we were laying in that bed.”

A concept termed “bringing the outside in” was part of the design, which is why each patient room has large windows and was the reason chairs with leaf patterns were chosen for the unit.

“We are a community made up of families and we have a real connection to nature,” Quinn said. “We were focused on patients.
Another example is the special lighting that was put in for the nurses, so that they can do paperwork without a lot of impact on the patients. If you were to talk to the nursing staff, you would find that this environment has lifted spirits.”

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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