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After four years of planning and construction, the grand opening of the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center and the transformation of care that it promises are upon BWH, with celebrations for employees, donors and members of the community planned for the next two weeks.
“The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center will facilitate integration among related disciplines and revolutionize the care we deliver in a truly patient- and family-centered way,” said BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA. “It will be the most advanced cardiovascular care facility in the world, enabling us to further treatment and discovery in the fight against heart disease.”
It was in January 2005 that Carl and Ruth Shapiro gave BWH $25 million—the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the hospital—to enable this center to become a reality. Since then, construction crews have worked year-round to erect the 10-story building, while teams of BWHers have planned for every detail of the care, research and teaching that form the crux of the center.
“This center will transform the care of cardiovascular patients here, and we hope it also will serve as a paradigm for the care of cardiovascular patients across the country,” said Kenneth Baughman, MD, director of the Advanced Heart Disease Section. “Patients will consult with a team of specialists, all under one roof, encouraging communication and promoting comprehensive care.”
By locating the full range of cardiovascular services in a single building, the center better supports communication among teams of specialists and staff to address each patient’s needs in an integrated, comprehensive manner. The operating rooms in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center feature the latest technologies to support both interventional and surgical procedures.
The outpatient clinic rooms are designed to accommodate cardiovascular care providers from all service lines. This streamlines the delivery of care for patients as they won’t have to travel to separate buildings for vascular services, for example. In addition, imaging and noninvasive imaging, including CT, nuclear medicine and stress echo will be in the same area to keep with the integrated model.
“The integrated nature of the center’s organization will allow BWH to promote discovery of new treatments, accelerate the translation of scientific research into proven clinical practices and train future leaders in cardiovascular medicine in these cutting-edge clinical and research disciplines,” said Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Medicine and chair of the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Leadership Committee.
An emphasis on patient- and family-centered care is one of the hallmarks of the building. In the early planning stages, former Tower 8 and 12 cardiovascular patients who endured long lengths of stay were consulted for input on the building. “They told us what it was like to be debilitated in a bed in a room where they can’t even turn off the lights themselves,” Mary Lou Moore, MSN, RN, director of Cardiovascular Nursing and Clinical Services, said. “These patients also voiced concerns about family members who stayed overnight in chairs.”
Their feedback was taken to heart, and the planning committees and architects designed a building that is truly patient- and family-centered with 136 single-occupancy rooms. Each room has a sofa bed and a private, handicap-equipped bathroom with extra wide doors. As inpatient units in the Tower are renovated in coming years, more single-occupancy rooms with the same dedicated family space will become available.
Shapiro inpatient floors also house a family lounge and patient and family conference rooms. The outpatient area encompasses the Shapiro Family Center, similar to the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families.
The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center is also environmentally-friendly. In fact, it likely will be the first hospital facility in New England to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.
“We have made a tremendous commitment to ensuring the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center improves the health of our patients and helps us maintain the health of our employees and our neighborhood,” Arthur Mombourquette, vice president of Support Services, said.
During the three-year construction schedule, contractors recycled more than 90 percent of construction waste and used recycled building materials when possible. Low-emitting adhesives, sealants, carpets and paints are in place throughout the facility. And more than 75 percent of interior spaces throughout the building are exposed to natural light. The roof is painted white to deflect heat.