Multi-million dollar renovation coming to Tobey Hospital
Southcoast Health officials expect construction of a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion at Tobey Hospital will begin this summer.
A larger emergency department is the goal, officials said, noting the current facility is undersized.
“The greater Wareham region has continued to grow in population and Tobey is serving twice the number of people the facility was built to handle,” said Southcoast Public Information Officer Peter Cohenno.
The expansion will require either the demolition or displacement of the Tobey Homestead. Southcoast owns the building, a local landmark at 148 Main St. that has sat vacant for a number of years, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Southcoast officials said the homestead must be razed or moved to accommodate the project. Southcoast Health officials said they are committed to working closely with town officials and community members in the process.
The new emergency department will have the capacity to treat 40,000 patients a year, said Cohenno.
The current emergency department is designed to serve 15,000 patients annually, but had a volume of more than 31,000 patients in 2016.
The expanded facility will have in excess of 30 rooms and reduce wait times for patients. The number of total hospital beds at Tobey Hospital will remain the same, however, additional private rooms will be added.
“The most common request that we get from patients is the desire to have a private room,” said Renee Clark, COO of Southcoast Hospitals Group. “We know that it can be difficult to share a room when you are not your feeling your best.”
The new addition is funded in part by the Campaign for Southcoast Health — a $25 million capital fundraising campaign, which is the largest in the not-for-profit healthcare system’s history.
“The campaign has been a tremendous success thanks to the generosity of so many individuals and businesses across the South Coast region,” said Jack Dresser, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Southcoast Health. “Southcoast Heath is also fortunate to benefit from the generosity of the hospital’s namesake, Alice Tobey Jones. In her will, she dedicated a significant part of her estate to ensure the health and wellness of the greater Wareham region.”
Also, the Tobey Guild committed $250,000 toward the project.
In addition to adding private rooms and expanding emergency services, Cohenno said the project solidifies Southcoast’s commitment to Tobey Hospital.
“At times there’s been a fear among people living in Wareham that Tobey might close,” he said. “I hope this shows that there is complete investment in Tobey Hospital…It’s here to stay.”