Beam-Signing Marks Progress of Hartford Hospital Expansion

Bliss Beam-Signing
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HARTFORD—With COVID-19 cases rising in other parts of the country and an increasing need for critical care beds in hotspots like Florida and Arizona, Hartford HealthCare marked a milestone July 10 that will help the health system be even more prepared for future outbreaks in Connecticut.

Hartford HealthCare and Hartford Hospital leaders held a beam-signing event at the site of a new 50,000-square-foot expansion of the Bliss Building on the Hartford Hospital campus.  The project, already well under construction and expected to be completed in August 2021, will include 18 new critical care beds, five operating rooms, a 10 bay pre/post recovery area, and three new MRIs.

Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks said, despite uncertainty in the healthcare industry, the project is a “wonderful marker” of continued progress.

“We are moving forward with this project because it is the right thing to do for our community now and in the future,” said Flaks, shown signing the beam, above.  “This will make Connecticut safer, enhance quality and access, and dramatically improve our capacity to respond to this pandemic and any situation similar to this.”

“COVID-19 has shown us the dependency of our communities on great hospitals like ours,” said Bimal Patel, President of Hartford HealthCare’s Hartford Region, which includes Hartford Hospital. “We are increasing the capacity of ICU [beds] by 25 percent, MRI and diagnostic capabilities by 25 percent and operating room capacity by 12 percent with this expansion.”

During the ceremony, a beam signed by staff and hospital leadership was ceremoniously lifted into place atop the four story structure. Ground was broken on the project in November 2019 and construction has continued through the COVID-19 crisis.

“With our need to expand our critical care and ICU capabilities during times like these,  the good news about this project is that this is a plan that Hartford HealthCare had in place long before the pandemic,” said Keith Grant APRN, Senior System Director of Infection Prevention for Hartford HealthCare.

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