Outlook 2023: Mercy Medical Center and Trinity Health take a holistic approach to health care (Viewpoint)

From the very beginning of their healing ministry, the Sisters of Providence displayed great vision and leadership on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society. While Mercy Medical Center is proud to carry on their rich legacy of hope and healing, we also recognize the importance of responding to the changing health care needs of the local community, embracing new innovations, and implementing best practices that support and foster high quality, safety, efficiency, and increased access to services.

As 2023 continues to unfold, our patients, their families and the local community will benefit from several important initiatives that not only further our commitment to improving care delivery, but also reflect the “spirit” of compassionate care unique to Mercy.

Although Mercy’s Emergency Department (ED) is among the busiest in Massachusetts with a volume of over 65,000 patient visits each year, patients want to be seen as soon as possible when they arrive in the ED. With this sense of urgency in mind, we recently completed an expansion project that added 3,100 SF to the clinical footprint of our ED – and features additional Rapid Medical Evaluation space and six additional behavioral health beds in designated areas to provide an enhanced clinical environment to improve patient care delivery.

Caring for our caregivers is also a priority. In addition to new lockers and a lactation room, we have also added a “Zen Room” where ED colleagues can unwind and recharge in a quiet, calming space designed to renew their spirits.

Multiple sclerosis impacts nearly 1 million individuals across the country, and until recently, patients had to travel to a large city to find the services they need. The Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research at Mercy offers a comprehensive care model that includes fellowship-trained neurologists to fight disease progression along with a customized approach to treatment, rehabilitation therapy, and support services.

The approach is gaining international attention. In addition to collaborating on research and education, representatives from Oxford University visited the Mandell Centers in Springfield and Hartford to explore opportunities to replicate in the United Kingdom the MS care model we provide throughout the region.

With completion expected by the end of the year, construction continues for the Andy Yee Palliative Care Unit. A well-known restaurateur and longtime supporter of the hospital, Yee spent his final days at Mercy. Grateful for the compassionate care he received, Yee’s family advocated for the creation of a palliative care unit to ensure that more people have access to the same level of care and individual attention when they need it most.

Once complete, the unit will provide a comfortable, soothing space for end-of-life care for patients and their families, as well as patients with chronic illnesses requiring pain and symptom management. All clinical staff involved in caring for patients and family members on the new unit will receive specialized training that focuses on palliative care.

In an effort to improve access to the same safe, high-quality care you’ve come to expect at Mercy Medical Center, Trinity Health Of New England has joined Mercy with Johnson Memorial Hospital to create the regional health system’s Springfield market. In addition to sharing resources and leadership, both facilities share the same commitment to excellence in patient care and patient experience.

With inpatient services in Stafford Springs and outpatient services in Enfield, Johnson Memorial Hospital may offer a convenient location for the efficient and effective care you need, right in your own backyard. Along with Johnson’s Emergency Department, in-hospital services include a new Geriatric Wellness Pavilion for geriatric behavioral health patients that features “pod” style housing and community areas with large windows for plenty of natural light.

At the same time, a $40-million construction project is underway for the expansion and renovation of Johnson’s cancer center, ambulatory care center, and surgery center – creating one convenient destination for many of your outpatient needs.

These are challenging times for the health care industry, but great challenges also bring great opportunities for innovation and strategic growth. Ever cognizant of our mission to serve as a transforming, healing presence in the local community, Mercy Medical Center is committed to placing our patients at the center of everything we do with care that focuses on their mind, body and spirit.

This holistic approach can be found throughout our facilities where colleagues reflect the spirit of Mercy by quietly and simply providing compassionate care, ever grateful for the privilege of making a tremendous difference in the lives of those they serve.

Dr. Robert Roose is chief administrative officer for the Springfield Market of Trinity Health Of New England, overseeing Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates and Johnson Memorial Hospital and its affiliates. To learn more about Mercy, go online to trinityhealthofne.org.

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