As Lawrence General President and CEO Dianne Anderson, RN, said at the ribbon cutting ceremony held in the Santagati Center on April 13, the dream of having a state-of-the-art surgical facility at Lawrence General – a project seven years in the making – is about to become a reality. The Surgical Day Car unit and Sterile Processing Department have already moved into their new spaces, and the seven operating suites will begin opening at the end of April; the first official surgical case is scheduled for May 1.
For Richard Santagati, chairman emeritus of the Lawrence General Board of Trustees, and his wife, Marilyn, the new surgical center that bears their name is far more than just a brick and mortar addition to the hospital campus, it’s a tribute to the caregivers that make up the Lawrence General community. “The strength of this hospital has been and will always be the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, and staff who come in every day,” said Richard during his remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “You deserve to have the very best facilities and technology that take advantage of the extraordinary talent and commitment you bring to this hospital every day.”
Echoing these sentiments, State Senator Barbara L’Italien spoke of how Lawrence General has always been there for her family in times of need, the care always excellent. “Looking forward, I’m grateful that people in this community will now have access to state-of-the-art surgical facilities – we already had state-of-the-art care – but we will now have the facilities to match, facilities worthy of a first-class city.”
Keynote speaker Dan Tsai, who oversees the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program and other initiatives aimed at aiding under insured patients, noted that Lawrence General is a “stand out” among its peers and a “scrappy innovator” that is working hard to keep care local in a more cost-effective setting.
“When people talk about health care innovation, they talk about the Boston teaching hospitals… not everyone thinks about what’s happening in the Merrimack Valley and Lawrence,” he said during his remarks, citing the Santagati Center as an example of offering high-quality care being made available in a community setting. Dan also commended Lawrence General’s partnership with the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center as being a model program that focuses on treating patients across the care entire continuum, rather than episodically in the Emergency Center.
The ribbon cutting ceremony also included remarks by Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, Lawrence General Board chair Deb Silberstein, surgeon Chip Gonsalvas, MD, and a blessing by Rabbi Robert Goldstein.