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Huggins Hospital opens state-of-the-art new facility

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Dr. Michael Matos, Huggins President Dave Tower and Board of Trustees Chairman Shawn Smith cut the ribbon in front of the ambulatory entrance to the Emergency Department last Saturday, May 22, to open the new hospital, as State Senator Jeb Bradley looks on. (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
May 27, 2010
WOLFEBORO — After more than seven years of planning and a little over a year and 10 months of construction, Huggins Hospital held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Saturday, May 22, and opened its new 101,000 square foot building to the public.

An audience of well over 100 was present at 10 a.m. at the ambulatory entrance of the new Emergency Department as Vice President of Marketing and Development Chris Strong welcomed everyone and introduced Board of Trustees Chairman Shawn Smith. Smith welcomed the community to the opening and introduced and thanked the trustees, staff and volunteers present. He was followed by Huggins President Dave Tower and Medical Staff Head Michael Matos MD, who invited all to tour the community's new hospital.

State Senator Jeb Bradley read a proclamation honoring the occasion from N.H. Governor John Lynch and All Saints Episcopal Church Pastor Randy Dales gave the invocation.

Following the formal ribbon-cutting, visitors were invited to tour the new facility on their own, using maps provided. Volunteers and members of the medical staff were present throughout the building to describe and answer questions about each area, from the new Emergency Department to the Medical and Women's Imaging areas to the operating rooms on the first floor and to the patient rooms, ICU and offices on the second floor.

This reporter was particularly impressed by the three operating rooms, one of which was open for inspection, where nearly everything is suspended from the ceiling to keep the floor clear and to remove obstacles for surgeons, while providing complete visualizing tools and monitors in clear view. The new patient rooms are spacious, filled with natural light from large windows, and offer overnight sleeping accommodations for family members to stay with a patient.

Visitors on the tour enjoyed complimentary snacks and refreshments in the new Café, which will be open to the public every day.

The tours were open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and several hundred took advantage of the opportunity.

The following day, Sunday, May 23, patients were moved from the old hospital to the new, and by Monday the new hospital was up and running.

Until the landscaping and parking at the new main entrance is completed, the ambulatory entrance to the Emergency Department will serve as the primary entrance. Visitors can park in the area near the Medical Arts building and the golf cart service the hospital has been using to convey people to the building will continue to be available.

Varney Smith
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