Big changes are clearly underway at the East Longmeadow campus. The new Medical Office Building is under construction on the Longmeadow portion of the site, and land has been cleared in anticipation of groundbreaking this spring for the new East Longmeadow Skilled Nursing Center.
“We’re poised to move ahead,” said President Bill Jones. “We are currently fielding bids and hope to start construction in the summer.”
Building a center of excellence
Less obvious, yet just as essential, are the changes going on behind the scenes as clinical teams develop specialized programs to meet local demand for specific services.
“We are working with Baystate Medical Center to institute specialized programs and services that establish East Longmeadow as a center of excellence and a strong partner,” said Sandra Bellantonio, MD, Chief Medical Officer. “This partnership creates a continuum of care for improved transitions and outcomes.”
East Longmeadow recently launched a formal Stroke Recovery Services program, following months of collaborative planning with clinical staff from Baystate Medical Center. This partnership reflects the hospital’s confidence in East Longmeadow’s ability to help stroke patients recover effectively. The move also positions the BHCS affiliate as a center of excellence and preferred provider in a continuum of post-acute care that includes Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Outpatient Rehab, and Baystate Home Health (VNA).
One key differentiator of East Longmeadow’s Stroke Recovery Services is oversight and weekly interdisciplinary rounding by the program’s Medical Director, Robin Gottlieb, MD. Dr. Gottlieb, a physiatrist with Baystate Medical Center specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, will consult on all stroke patients transitioned to East Longmeadow.
Collaborating for clinical success
The program was developed by a collaborative planning committee that included physiatrists, clinical and administrative nurses, the rehab director and director of case management from Baystate Medical Center; Homecare’s director of therapy; and clinical and administrative leadership from Berkshire Healthcare and East Longmeadow Skilled Nursing Center. Care and rehab focus on evidence-based protocols to maximize post-stroke recovery.
East Longmeadow nursing staff acquired additional competencies for the specialized care program, including earning certification in the National Institutes of Health Stroke Symptom Scale. They also worked closely with their counterparts in Baystate Medical Center’s stroke unit to develop a warm handover process which will ease transition between providers, enhance care, and improve outcomes. Close coordination between the care teams will enhance continuity of care as patients transition between care settings following hospitalization. Patients will also benefit from East Longmeadow’s ability to provide clinically complex care.
As construction progresses on the campus, leadership and clinical staff will continue to develop specialty programs to meet the needs of those served.