EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 23, 2014

Lawrence General Hospital announces $72M expansion

New surgical building on Prospect St. among the improvements

LAWRENCE — After four years of planning, Lawrence General Hospital is about to embark on a $72 million project to change the look of the hospital and which trustees hope will strengthen its role as a leading medical center in the Merrimack Valley.

The Board of Trustees has unanimously approved construction of a new surgical building, renovations to patients’ rooms and other aesthetic upgrades.

Lawrence General last fall purchased 50 Prospect St. — a five-story building housing doctors offices and other medical facilities. These will relocate to other sites and the building will be demolished to make way for a 42,250-square-foot surgical edifice.

“We know this significant strategic investment will further enhance the quality of care provided to our patients,” said Dianne J. Anderson, hospital president and chief executive officer. “We will be well positioned to provide future health care needs of the communities we serve right here in the Merrimack Valley.”

Andover attorney Matthew A. Caffrey, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said they are “building on our emerging role as an important medical center and resource for the region.”

Denise S. Palumbo, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Lawrence General Hospital, said the current operating rooms are almost 50 years old.

“It had served the organization very well, but it doesn’t meet today’s technical advances,” Palumbo said.

Some of the advances include robotic surgery for urology and gynecological surgery and the hybrid Operating Room which combines imaging and surgery.

“This technology will enhance the ability to perform more complex vascular surgery, neurosurgery and cardiac surgery procedures using a minimally invasive approach,” Palumbo said. “I’m very pleased with the expansion because it speaks to the immediate need of the hospital and its mission to better service the community and offer more specialties to the community.”

The surgical building will cost $55 million and improvements to patient rooms will be $17 million, for a total of $72 million.

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