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Construction begins at Vassar Brothers Medical Center

Posted: 9/13/2016

Patient Pavilion featuring private rooms and new Emergency Department to open in 2019

With an emphasis on its commitment to transform healthcare in the Hudson Valley, Health Quest’s flagship, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, broke ground Tuesday on its historic, half-billion-dollar construction project: a 696,000-square-foot patient pavilion that will give patients and families of the region the healing environment they deserve.

“This is so much more than just a new building,” said Ann McMackin, president of the medical center. “It’s a symbol of the renewed economic growth in Dutchess County and the mid-Hudson Valley and of the renaissance happening before our eyes in the City of Poughkeepsie. This project allows us to change how patients in our region experience healthcare. That transformation begins right here, right now.” 

The groundbreaking ceremony took place at the future site of the pavilion at the rear of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center campus, a short distance off Livingston Street. About 350 community members, local leaders and employees joined the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Board of Trustees, McMackin and other VIPs.

“We are raising the bar on how healthcare is delivered in this community, and we are changing how patients in our community experience that care,” said Françoise Dunefsky, chairwoman of the medical center’s Board of Trustees. “I am quite certain that if brothers Matthew and John Guy Vassar were with us today, they would be very, very pleased with where we are taking their hospital.”

All at the groundbreaking were asked to sign their names on documents stating Health Quest’s mission: “To deliver exceptional healthcare to the communities we serve by pursuing the highest standards of quality, safety, service and compassion.” Those documents will be included in a time capsule that will make its home in the cornerstone of the patient pavilion.

The unique design of the building pays respect to the slow-moving curve of the neighboring Hudson River. The building will provide enhanced patient experience and operational efficiencies while serving as a bold new landmark for Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley. 

Designed by architectural firm CallisonRTKL, the patient pavilion includes a spacious lobby, an emergency department and trauma center with 66 treatment rooms, state-of-the-art operating suites, a 30-bed critical care unit, 264 private patient rooms, a rooftop helistop, a 300-seat conference center, a café and more. 

“The medical and dental staff here are thrilled about this project,” said Dr. Robert Dean, president of the medical and dental staff at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. “The new pavilion will enhance our excellent patient care and cutting-edge services.”

Along with Vassar Brothers, Health Quest includes Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck and Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel. Those hospitals are complemented by Health Quest Medical Practice, a physician group of more than 265 providers across the region, covering Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam counties, two Urgent Care locations and affiliates including the Thompson House, a 100-bed skilled nursing facility on the Northern Dutchess Hospital campus, Health Quest Home Care and The Heart Center, a leading provider of cardiology services in the region.

During construction, the public can get a first-hand look at what the interior of the final building will look like at the Prototype Experience. 

Open from 2 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday, the Prototype Experience, on the campus of the medical center at 60 Livingston St., is a life-size, realistic model of medical/surgical and critical care patient rooms, as well as nurse care centers in the new pavilion. No appointments are necessary and walk-ins are welcome. For information, call 845-554-1736 or email jnelson2@health-quest.org

Vassar Brothers Medical Center has served the Hudson Valley since 1887. It houses the first and only cardiothoracic surgery center in the mid-Hudson Valley, a state-of-the-art birthing center, pioneering centers for advanced surgery and wound care, the area’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the new Division of NeuroInterventional Surgery for advanced treatment of aneurysms and acute stroke.

The patient pavilion is expected to open for patient care in early 2019.

Visit the “Transforming Healthcare on the Hudson” website at www.healthquest.org/transformation for more information, including photos, videos, a timeline and the latest construction updates.



An architect’s rendering of the Patient Pavilion at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

Top Photo: Honorary groundbreakers, from left, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, state Sen. Sue Serino, Health Quest President Robert Friedberg, Health Quest Board Chairman Gregory Rakow and Vassar Brothers Medical Center President Ann McMackin.


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