The new Kendall Emergency Department.

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BENNINGTON — Announcing a sweeping plan to expand the Emergency Department and construct a new cancer center, Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s Foundation Board President Bob Van Degna announced that $24 million has been raised over the last four years toward the goal of $25 million for the Vision 2020, a Decade of Transformation Capital Campaign.

The multi-phased project will renovate and expand the Emergency Department and front entrance to the hospital, and construct a new Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center on the health system’s main campus.

The first phase of the project is underway and includes the construction of the new Kendall Emergency Department and front entrance to the hospital. The new Hoyt-Hunter Regional Cancer Center is estimated to begin construction next year. Van Degna said the foundation and Vision 2020 Steering Committee are seeking donations from patients and community members to raise the remaining $1 million.

Nearly 300 gifts have been received during the quiet phase of the campaign, including several large donations and community foundations grants.

“Today, we are asking the members of our community to lend their support to invest in a new generation of care. The goal is $1 million, and we hope to raise this amount in 6 months,” said David Newell, co-chairman of the Vision 2020 Public Phase Committee, in a statement. “We’re on the cusp of a new and exciting future for the hospital and everyone in the tri-state area who turns to SVHC for care.”

“Our region requires modernized facilities to support the top notch care our exceptional clinicians provide,” said SVHC’s President and CEO Thomas A. Dee in statement. “The improvements we are making will have a positive impact on the lives of each person in the community and continue to for generations. We are forever grateful for everyone’s support.”

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The Emergency Department saw about 25,000 patients last year, but was designed to see 12,000 in the mid-1990s. Similarly, the regional Cancer Center was not constructed to accommodate the current volume of patients being treated.

The Emergency Department is the oldest emergency facility in Vermont. Diagnosis and care for emergencies have significantly advanced over the past decade. Upgrades to the new Kendall Emergency Department will double its square footage, reduce wait times, increase access to mental health services, enhance telemedicine connectivity with Dartmouth Health, and improve patient privacy and infection prevention.

The new Hoyt-Hunter Regional Cancer Center will have double the number of exam and infusion rooms. The design focuses on patient comfort, in addition to clinical excellence.

“We would not be at this stage of the campaign without the generous support of Nancy and Don Kendall, the Hunter Family, the Hoyt Family, Pamela and Richard Ader, Jackie and Tony Marro, Lucinda Thomson and many more members of our regional community and SVHC volunteer leaders,” said trustee and chair of the foundation’s Vision 2020 Steering Committee Tommy Harmon. “We are deeply indebted to all of our donors for their faith in our organization and their ability to see the need for facilities that match our clinicians uncompromising level of care they provide to our patients.”

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