Bristol Health’s new downtown building will host a number of services. The new building, which had its ribbon cutting Friday and opens for business Monday, will take on the hospital’s services for cardiology, orthopedics, endocrinology, rheumatology, neurology and urology.
Bristol Hospital’s Medical Care Center will also offer laboratory services and occupational and physical therapy services. Those will continue to be offered in the hospital and throughout the community, respectively.
Hospital officials said the services that were selected to move into the new building, located at 15 Riverside Ave., were done so for a few reasons. Some made sense to have in the same place for physicians to communicate and function together, while others, like orthopedics, simply needs more space. The three-story, 60,000-square-foot new facility is expected to employ more than 90 people.
An estimate as to how many of those positions will be new jobs brought to the city is not yet available, but hospital officials said there is much more room for growth. When the building opens, between 60 to 70 % of its space will initially be used.
“Thirty percent is for growth,” Edward Henry, executive director of Bristol Health Medical Group said, adding that the facility will have the need in the future for more receptionists, physicians and medical assistants.
Since 2012, according to Chris Boyle, hospital spokesman, the Bristol Hospital Multi-Specialty Group has doubled in doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Looking ahead, there is also about 30,000 square feet of space to construct another building adjacent to the new medical center, but that is not something in the immediate pipeline. “I think planning ahead, that’s a possibility,” Boyle said. “But there’s no immediate plans.”
A possible second hospital building isn’t the only growth the city is hoping will be sparked by the new medical facility. “Communities don’t often have a ‘do over’ chance for their downtowns,” Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said. Since its construction was announced, Bristol Health’s Medical Care Center has created a lot of excitement around the community, particularly because the former mall site sat vacant for so long, Boyle said.
The new center will provide ample parking and shorter wait times in a “state-of-the-art, world-class” facility, which will allow Bristol Hospital to provide patients the care they need without having to leave the city, Henry said.
It will also help the hospital in physician recruitment. “I think it’s going to be a real shining star,” Henry said.