When Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital’s emergency room opened 50 years ago, it was serving about ten patients per day. Health care needs have changed over the past five decades, and the ER now serves an average of 38 patients each day, with some days seeing 50 to 60 patients. This dramatic increase in patient visits has placed enormous strain on the facility and presented daily challenges for its dedicated staff. NVRH determined that the situation was unsustainable and required attention. Thus, plans were developed to expand capacity and overhaul the ER. A new laboratory and pharmacy were also included in the planning and funding efforts for this “West Wing Project”.
Union Bank saw this expansion as an opportunity to give back to the community in a way that will have a substantial impact. As Emily Hutchison, M.Ed., director of philanthropy at NVRH, says, “For years, Union Bank has been very generous to NVRH and our commitment to wellness and well-being. Their fund is truly playing a vital role in helping meet the changing health care needs of the community.
Union Bank donated to the hospital for the construction of its cancer center in 2005, the renovation of the birthing center in 2016, and in support of COVID relief in 2020. During the pandemic, Union Bank also supported the hospital in unconventional ways, including suspending processing fees. For credit card transactions, as a way to reduce overhead during those difficult times. As Hutchinson explains, “They didn’t even ask, they just went ahead and did it on their own!”
Other recent philanthropic efforts of Union Bank include:
Why is this expansion and renovation such a critical need for our community? As a small rural critical access hospital, NVRH serves all of Caledonia County and parts of Essex County, as well as northern Vermont and New Hampshire, to patients who live in areas where smaller medical facilities simply cannot provide essential services. Cannot provide.
While Vermont overall is aging faster than other states, NVRHs also serve the state’s oldest population, including individuals whose care needs are more acute than the facilities originally built. Are. In addition to the increasing demand for care, patient needs are also changing, with an increasing number of mental health crises requiring specialized services that older ERs were not equipped to provide. With these upgrades, the new ER will be approximately 4500 square feet, increasing from 9 rooms to 16 rooms and almost double its current size.
Now the first phase of the West Wing project is complete – the 4-bed Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Suite in the ER, which provides space to better meet the needs of those in mental health crisis – the hospital is undergoing additional renovations. is progressing well along, including a greatly expanded and improved laboratory and pharmacy. When construction is complete, Northeast Vermont Regional Hospital will be better equipped to meet the health care needs of our community today and in years to come.