Surgeons, hospital staff and community and business leaders were on hand Thursday at Lawrence General Hospital, to observe and celebrate the opening of a $56 million surgery center.
The 43,000-square-foot Santagati Center for surgery—named in honor of benefactors Marilyn and Richard Santagati—is five times the size of the current surgical service, which was built in the 1960s. The center has seven technology-rich operating rooms, more space and privacy in the pre- and post-surgical patient areas and an advanced and new Sterile Processing Department that supplies the operating rooms with equipment and supplies. A new family waiting area is due to be completed in June. The center is the largest capital project in the hospital’s 140-year history, and the largest private investment in health care in Lawrence since the hospital opened its new Emergency Center in 2006.
“We’re excited that our excellent surgeons and surgical staff will now have the sophisticated technology and support to provide the kinds of advanced surgeries not previously available north of Boston,” said Dianne Anderson, Lawrence General president and CEO. “Lawrence General’s Santagati Center for surgery offers our region advanced care that is more efficient, safer and closer to home.”
Officials highlighted the region’s only “hybrid operating room,” where Lawrence General affords surgeons more clinical flexibility during surgery. The room is equipped with advanced imaging technology that allows surgeons to move from minimally invasive to open surgical procedures in real time, without moving the patient. This new capability will allow specialty surgeons to perform procedures that weren’t possible in the Merrimack Valley prior to the opening of the Santagati Center.
“While this may appear to be a bricks and mortar project at first glance, it is truly an investment in the talents of the medical personnel who serve the patients of this region,” said Richard Santagati, board chair emeritus and lead donor to the campaign for the project. “To retain the best medical professionals to care for our family and friends in this region, we must give them the space and tools they need to perform their life-saving work.”
The new center, along with renovation of the hospital’s intensive care unit and other adult inpatient units, provides the resources that allow more patients in Northeastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire to access state of the art medical care, without having to travel into Boston, a statement said.