NMC Commentary

When Do Cardiology, Pulmonology, and OB/GYN Move?

Northwestern Cardiology, Northwestern Pulmonology, and our Women’s Services practice, Northwestern Obstetrics & Gynecology, will open in their new space within the new addition adjacent to the main entrance at NMC on Monday, May 1.  Their physical move will begin this coming Friday and they will welcome patients into their new spaces at the front of the hospital Monday morning!

The new addition which houses these three practices is located immediately to the right as you enter NMC.  It features a centralized registration station located across the main lobby from the volunteer greeter desk.  Here, patients can check in for hospital services (such as Diagnostic Imaging) and for their appointments in Cardiology, Pulmonology, and OB/GYN.  Having registration at the very front and more centralized in nature will make wayfinding much easier and more convenient for patients and increases our efficiency as part of our efforts to continue to bend the cost curve in healthcare.  The outpatient clinical space of the new addition is also designed to maximize convenience for patience as well as flexibility and efficiency.  Great attention to detail has gone into the design of these spaces.  Cardiology and Pulmonlogy will now have the space they need to keep pace with the need for their preventive services and the treatment they provide.  Our community has strongly embraced these practices.  Having access to that care right here, close to home helps ensure members of our community get the preventive care they need so conditions do not escalate in seriousness and require far more complex and costly interventions.  Northwestern Cardiology has been a great partnership with the University of Vermont Medical Center, as our Cardiologists – Dr. John Fitzgerald and his colleagues – are UVMMC employees, helping ensure strong continuity of care for patients who do need heart surgery in Burlington.  This partnership inspires an exciting part of this new addition: flexible clinic space which can accommodate a variety of specialties on a rotating basis.  While our community needs access to services such as Rheumatology, Endocrinology, etc., there is not the population to support a full-time presence.  This new space will allow us to partner with UVMMC and possibly others to host needed specialists on a part-time basis, ensuring access matches need in our community.  It also provides a wonderful opportunity to further expand access through technology, with this area serving as a hub for future telemedicine opportunities.

One of the truly exciting aspects of this new addition is new space for Northwestern OB/GYN – the Women’s Service’s practice of Dr. Leonard Tremblay, Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine, Dr. Lowrey Sullivan, and PA Katja Von Sitas.  Their new space will allow for a comfortable, convenient, supportive patient experience within the same building as our beloved Family Birth Center.  From the caring, personalized approach of our experienced providers in both gynecology and obstetrics and preventive care to their innovative approaches around pre-natal education and the nationally recognized ‘Baby Friendly’ focus of our entire team, this practice is uniquely positioned to meet the health needs of the women in our community.

It is so exciting to have this next component of our ‘Exceptional’ master facility plan project coming on line.  We have received such positive feedback on the new main entrance which opened in December.  Patients and visitors are finding it welcoming and warm and comforting, just as the NMC staff who helped design the space intended.  We are also receiving wonderful feedback on the Veterans’ Sponsored Valet service which launched in April and continues to grow into its schedule.  We are so grateful that the veterans have taken this on and have inspired others to join them. They have served our country admirably and now they are serving our community in a new way.  Their dedication to others is exemplary!  We are also thrilled to have opened the first portion of the new Progressive Care Unit, featuring private rooms for our inpatients!  The new rooms are comfortable and spacious and allow for greater privacy, education, restfulness, and family support – a true advancement in exceptional patient care! Construction continues on the new Medical Office Building at the front of campus that will provide efficient, flexible space for Northwestern Urgent Care, Northwestern Primary Care, and Northwestern Orthopaedics, with the wise and prudent creation of a second floor to allow NMC to more cost-effectively meet growing community need in the future.  That building is on track to open this summer.  Renovations are now beginning on the existing Medical/Surgical Unit to transform that space into the second half of the new Progressive Care Unit by late Fall.

Thank you for your continued patience with these enhancements to the healing environment here on the NMC campus. Thanks to the careful financial planning and ongoing saving that the hospital has done over the years, thanks to the leadership of our community Board and the input from our Medical Staff and hospital staff, it is a project which affordably enables NMC to keep pace with community need.  It is so exciting to see the next piece reach completion!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer