Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

POUGHKEEPSIE — Vassar Brothers Medical Center has added services and programs that have decreased outmigration so patients can choose to stay close to home for their healthcare. With the medical center’s new patient pavilion on the horizon, the transformation of healthcare on the Hudson is well underway.

Featured guests at the 12th annual State of the Medical Center Community Breakfast were, from left, Dr. Nicholas Renaldo, medical director of the Spine Program at Vassar Brothers Medical Center; Trish Prunty, one of Renaldo’s grateful patients; Yukiko Dawkins, a grateful patient of the Liver and Pancreas Center at Vassar Brothers Medical Center; Dr. Sarah Levin, a cardiac electrophysiologist with The Heart Center; Vassar Brothers Medical Center President Ann McMackin; and Dr. Ryan Swan, medical director of the Liver and Pancreas Center. Photo provided

That was the message of medical center President Ann McMackin during the 12th annual State of the Medical Center Community Breakfast on Tuesday, May 9.

“People are voting with their feet, choosing to stay here, close to their families, saying ‘Take me to Vassar’ when it comes to their healthcare,” McMackin told the record crowd of more than 200 business, civic and community members, donors and local residents who attended the presentation at The Grandview in the City of Poughkeepsie.

The medical center broke ground in September on its patient pavilion with 264 private patient rooms, an emergency and trauma center with 66 treatment rooms and new operating rooms. The primary focus of the work to date has been laying the groundwork for the landmark facility’s foundation.

The pavilion is scheduled to open in 2019.

“By continuing to invest in the best people, services, education and facilities, we are sending a strong message that no one has to leave the area to receive excellent healthcare,” said Françoise Dunefsky, president of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Vassar Brothers Medical Center saw significant growth in 2016, adding new services and enhancing the level of care in the community. For example:

  • Vassar’s level II trauma center opened on Feb. 29, 2016. The 24/7 trauma team expected to treat just over 650 patients the remainder of the year, but soon discovered the majority of cases in the region were being brought to Vassar. By year’s end, the team had treated 917 different traumas.
  • Also in February of 2016, cardiac interventionalists started to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, a minimally invasive procedure, targeting patients who are too frail for the traditional, more invasive surgery. The team expected to perform about 20 TAVRs by year’s end, but that number grew to 47.

McMackin’s presentation hit on Vassar’s growth in 2016:

  • Vassar discharged 23,236 patients, a 20 percent increase in five years.
  • Vassar employs more than 2,175 workers and is the largest private employer in the City of Poughkeepsie. Of those, nearly 1,000 are nurses.
  • Patients and physicians are choosing more and more to have their surgeries done at Vassar. The medical center has gone from just under 15,000 surgeries performed in 2011 to more than 18,000 in 2016, a 25.3 percent increase.
  • People are also choosing to come to Vassar’s Emergency Department. The medical center had more than 70,000 visits in 2016, a 5.4 percent increase in five years.

Vassar is part of Health Quest Systems Inc., the mid-Hudson Valley’s largest not-for-profit integrated family of hospitals and healthcare providers, including Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel, plus multiple affiliates.

Altogether, Health Quest delivers immediate, compassionate care, using the latest medical technology, to more than 700,000 people in Columbia, Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Putnam and northern Westchester counties.

Beginning in July, Health Quest will add Sharon Hospital in Connecticut to its family. At that time, the system will employ more than 6,000 people in the region.

Visit healthquest.org for more information.

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