Doylestown Health broke ground Friday, Sept. 15 to expand its nationally-recognized Heart Institute as a crowd of 300 clinical, community and health system leaders cheered the announcement of a $5 million gift towards construction, and laughed and cried as a patient described his heartwarming story of compassionate care.
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Center for Heart and Vascular took place in front of the current entrance to Doylestown Health's Richard A. Reif Heart Institute. The approximately 100,000-square-foot addition will have expanded treatment areas and 30 new private rooms. A new hybrid operating suite, renovated Cath and Electrophysiology labs and a central atrium to access all cardiovascular services is part of the design. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.
"This construction and the expansion of heart and vascular services is a significant development in the nearly century-old tradition of our health system," said Jim Brexler, president and CEO. "Our cardiovascular program continues to grow, providing excellent outcomes and attracting patients throughout the region. This new state-of-the-art facility will enhance an already exceptional patient experience."
In his opening remarks, Brexler announced that Patricia and Alex Gorsky, who are co-chairing a comprehensive capital campaign to be launched next spring, made a $5 million commitment to the campaign, the largest gift in Doylestown Health's history.
Steve Novello illuminated Doylestown Health's goal of creating a space where science and technology meet grace and humanity with stories of his and his family's care at Doylestown Hospital.
"It's not a hospital – it's more like a family," Novello said as he recounted several episodes of care in recent years. When his mother was taken to the hospital’s emergency department after a fall, "I didn't see a nurse helping a patient – I saw a nurse as if she were helping her own grandmother."
According to Joan Parlee, Chairman of the Doylestown Hospital and Doylestown Health Foundation Boards of Directors, "The ground breaking will be another milestone day in the history of Doylestown Health. From an institution that started as an eight-bed emergency hospital, we have transformed into a major fixture and resource in the Bucks County community and beyond."
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, state Rep. Marguerite Quinn, and Barbara Lyons, Chairman of the Doylestown Township Board of Supervisors, shared their personal encounters with Doylestown Health over the years and extended their best wishes for the project:
- "This expansion is a symptom of leadership that wants to get out in front of the future of health care," Fitzpatrick said.
- "My colleagues in Harrisburg are surprised to hear about a health system that is thriving and growing without a hand out for federal and state help – the health system is reaching out to the community," Quinn said.
- Doylestown Health is homegrown and indigenous to this community," said Lyons. "It truly is a place where science and technology meet grace and humanity."
Joseph S. Auteri, MD, Medical Director of the Heart Institute, summarized the clinical expertise that inspired all the speakers to comment lavishly about their experiences.
"Our heart and vascular program is nationally recognized, and ranks among the best in the region and the state. We have been consistently one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation for survival after a heart attack," said Dr. Auteri. "While our clinical outcomes are excellent, we often hear our patients and their families comment on the wonderful experience they had during this difficult time for them. We have been able to achieve these excellent results, while doing so in a warm and caring environment for patients and families.
"We have talented physicians and staff, performing highly specialized and complex procedures which are not ordinarily available in a community setting, with excellent outcomes. This is a factor of both the high quality team we assembled, as well as the vision of the cardiologists and administration who came before us and were determined to adopt new technologies and procedures, and committed to meet the cardiovascular needs of our community."
About Doylestown Health's Heart & Vascular Services
Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. Doylestown Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center is fully prepared to treat cardiac emergencies around the clock, focusing on rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. The multidisciplinary team at the Richard A. Reif Heart Institute is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.