Emergency Medicine Takes Next Step At PHCFree Access


Hospital officials and dignitaries at the traditional groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Eric Gross

Hospital officials and dignitaries at the traditional groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Eric Gross

Within the next two years, emergency medicine will reach a pinnacle in Putnam County when a $9 million Putnam Hospital Center Emergency Department is expanded and completely refurbished.

On a glorious Thursday morning, PHC President Peter Kelly welcomed some 100 guests including hospital staff and management, elected officials, and representatives of the parent Health Quest Corporation to the hospital’s campus for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Kelly explained that the project had been planned for years: “I arrived in Putnam County a year ago this past August to lead an institution that provides services to 7,200 patients a year in terms of admissions; 9,000 surgical procedures annually along with 112,000 ancillary procedures. We also treat more than 27,000 patients each year in our emergency room.”

PHC President Peter Kelly addresses the gathering. Photo by Eric Gross

PHC President Peter Kelly addresses the gathering. Photo by Eric Gross

Kelly described the staff at PHC as “outstanding. We employ some of the finest clinicians, physicians, technicians and support staff that I have ever seen during my 44 years in the hospital business. The commitment and quality of services provided are extraordinary and unusual in a hospital of this size. For that reason, residents of Putnam County, lower Dutchess County and upper Westchester are most fortunate.”

The new ER will be expanded to double the size of the current Emergency Department by adding 8,400 square feet of space that will include eleven additional treatment bays, a new nurse’s station and separate ambulance and pedestrian entrances to improve safety and flow. Parking improvements are also planned.

Karen Fleming, Chairwoman of the PHC Board of Directors, told the gathering that the groundbreaking “culminates a lot of love, lots of collaboration and tons of caring.”

County Executive Mary Ellen Odell also lauded the event: “My baby sister was born here; my late mother worked here while my grandmother was treated with love and compassion in December before joining my mom in heaven. Putnam Hospital is the cornerstone of our community. Its social importance and the caring and love that goes on here each and every day when babies are born or when we say ‘good bye’ to those we love so much is unparallel. Putnam Hospital is an institution and has become an integral part of our economy.”

State Senator Terrence Murphy described the addition as a “ground breaker. Congratulations to all involved. This new ER department is a vision that will place Putnam Hospital Center well ahead of the curve.”

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