New Accelerated Care Unit opens at Lawrence General Hospital Emergency Center

March 25, 2024
Courtesy Johnson Photography Inc.Lawrence General Hospital is pleased to announce the opening of its new Accelerated Care Unit (ACU) in the Lawrence General Hospital Emergency Center. This additional dedicated treatment area punctuates the expansion of a three-year Lawrence General pilot program aimed to help address increased patient volume to the Lawrence General Hospital Emergency Center.
Hospitals in Massachusetts, including Lawrence General, are managing crisis-level, high-volume challenges daily. It’s a statewide situation exacerbated by factors including lack of primary care access, staffing challenges and patient discharge delays caused in part by fewer nursing home beds, post-acute and behavioral health care options. Lawrence General Hospital president and CEO, Dr. Abha Agrawal, says all those factors, external to hospitals, create a perfect storm for hospitals across the Commonwealth.
"Lawrence General's new Accelerated Care Unit is one more innovative way to help us address those challenges head-on,” says Dr. Abha Agrawal, president and CEO of Lawrence General Hospital. “Creating this dedicated space and efficiency helps us enhance our outstanding emergency care and continue to provide the best possible care for the people we serve throughout the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire."
With an expert team of more than 100 board-certified emergency physicians, registered nurses and staff, Lawrence General Hospital’s Emergency Center is an accredited Level III Trauma Center and serves over 60,000 patients each year. The new Accelerated Care Unit will help the hospital rapidly evaluate, assess and treat patients with low to mid-acuity medical complaints while also increasing capacity for patients with critical care needs such as stroke, heart attack and trauma.
“By using our Accelerated Care Unit for patients requiring less emergent care and monitoring, including those receiving intravenous fluids or awaiting lab results, care and monitoring can be provided to patients in the comfort of reclining chairs rather than sitting on stretchers which take up more valuable space,” says Dr. George Kondylis, chief medical officer at Lawrence General Hospital.  “The results from our successful pilot program show that our ACU allows caregivers to treat up to 50% more patients, reduce emergency wait times and increase patient satisfaction — all while maintaining Lawrence General Hospital’s high standard of providing excellent care.”
Funding for the construction of the hospital's new Accelerated Care Unit was given a major philanthropic boost thanks in large part to a $500,000 gift by Charlie and Liz Daher of Andover. The Daher family joined members of Lawrence General Hospital team, local leaders and members of the community for a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new ACU on Friday, March 22.
Charlie Daher, who was born at Lawrence General, credits the expert team at Lawrence General Hospital’s Emergency Center for saving his life when he experienced a heart attack several years ago. He views the donation as a way to both help his community and support the care team at Lawrence General.
“They saved my life, and we want to help Lawrence General care for as many people as possible in the same way they cared for me,” says Charlie Daher. “Elizabeth and I chose to make such a major gift because I know this donation will have an equally profound and positive impact for Lawrence General Hospital and the people of our community. For me, there's nothing more rewarding than giving back and helping the people in our community.”
Dr. Agrawal says the entire Lawrence General family is grateful for Daher's recovery, as well as the Daher family's support and that of other individuals and businesses.
“Charlie’s story captures the essence of why we, as caregivers, do what we do day in and day out,” says Dr. Agrawal. “The Daher family’s generosity is admirable and illustrates how supporting Lawrence General, a trusted, independent, mission-driven, nonprofit hospital, is a meaningful way to invest in the health and strength of the communities we serve across the Merrimack Valley.”