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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (December 8, 2009) — The Hospital for Special Care announced its plans Tuesday for a $7 million initiative to expand outpatient services by waging a “Hope Campaign” set to kick off next month.
“If you can take a child and send him home and allow him to come and go, you can improve the quality of life for that child,” said Sheila Hogan, vice president of the Hospital for Special Care Foundation.
The expansion project would add a lobby where patients would check in and register before heading off to appointments and a medical office building. Hogan estimates that about 70 percent of patients are released to some type of out-patient care and the project would allow the facility to increase the amount of out-patient care they can provide.
The hospital is one of a few in the country that deals with long-term acute care after devastating injury, hospitalization and pulmonary pediatric care, said John J. Votto, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer. Patients come from throughout Connecticut and surrounding states to gain some of the normalcy and independence after a catastrophic illness or injury.
The facility specializes in pulmonary care, acquired brain injury care and the behavioral issues that may come with a traumatic brain injury. It features a complex pediatrics unit for children who are technologically dependent, a neuromuscular unit that includes the treatment of pediatric muscular dystrophy and spinal cord care for patients who have come to be weaned from an extensive stay on a ventilator.
The hospital also does research in pulmonary medicines, ventilator outcomes and Sickle Cell Anemia and they are developing models for dealing with niche populations, Votto said. “They can be diagnosed, seen by a social worker, seen by a nurse and visit physical, occupational and speech therapy all in one day,” he said. “We try to do all of that in one day.”
“We’re very excited about this,” Hogan said. “It really will provide to our public and patients what we can do to improve their quality of life. The ability to get your care and go home is a huge quality of life issue and it’s also more cost effective.”