Good Samaritan Medical Center plans to open a new $30.1 million emergency wing by next summer under new ownership by an investment firm, hospital officials said. Doctors, staff and executives at Good Samaritan cheered the proposed sale of the six-hospital Caritas Christi chain on Thursday, saying the deal would modernize the hospital and improve patient care.
Good Samaritan Medical Center plans to open a new $30.1 million emergency wing by next summer under new ownership by an investment firm, hospital officials said.
Doctors, staff and executives at Good Samaritan cheered the proposed sale of the six-hospital Caritas Christi chain on Thursday, saying the deal would modernize the hospital and improve patient care.
“This is a real boost for everybody – the employees, the state of Massachusetts and, of course, the patients we care for every day,” said Cathy Kennedy-Kleczka, an administrative coordinator at Good Samaritan, who said fellow staff members are also enthusiastic.
Caritas Christi officials on Thursday announced the proposed sale of its hospital chain, which includes Good Samaritan, to Cerberus Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm.
The $830 million deal includes $100 million for major projects at the hospitals.
“People are very energized about this,” Good Samaritan President Steven Gordon said of the sale, which still requires the approval of state courts and government regulators, as well as Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Sean O’Malley.
Caritas hospitals include Good Samaritan, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Norwood Hospital in Norwood, Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton.
The Caritas hospitals would remain affiliated with the Catholic church, officials said.
Among the major benefits for Good Samaritan is long-elusive funding for the new emergency department. Without the money, “we’d still be at a very slow pace” on the project, Gordon said.
The 32,000-square-foot emergency wing would triple the size of the current department. Design work and city approvals were completed last year, but project funding had remained a major question mark.
A previous deal to fund the project fell through in 2008 due to weakened financial markets, and Caritas Christi has struggled financially for years.
Good Samaritan officials said they got notice last week that the acquisition deal was likely, and arranged for preliminary construction on the project to start Thursday.
“We’re just been waiting to put the shovel in the ground,” said Dr. Richard Herman, emergency department chairman at Good Samaritan. “I came to work today and I saw the shovel.”
The current emergency department was built in 1968 to serve 25,000 patients a year. The unit is now cramped and crowded, serving 54,000 patients a year.
The new emergency department would increase the number of rooms from 26 to 42, allowing patients to get a room more quickly, hospital officials have said.
The department would also be the region’s first to contain its own imaging suite for CT scans and X-rays, improving patient flows and cutting wait times, officials have said.
“The end result is going to be a modern new facility that’s going to offer all of the services that we currently offer, plus more,” Herman said.
Construction will take 16 months, Gordon said. The new wing will be located on an area previously used as an ambulance drop-off and a physician parking lot.
Officials at the 231-bed hospital did not have an estimate on the number of jobs that would be created through the project.
Meanwhile, the new owner also plans to invest in other areas at the hospital, Gordon said.
Infrastructure and facilities upgrades will be made, including work on roofs, electrical systems and the heating and air conditioning system.
The in-patient unit will be refurbished.
Digital mammography services will be expanded.
Good Samaritan treats residents from 19 local communities, with its primary service area consisting of Bridgewater, Brockton, Easton, Middleboro, Randolph, Stoughton, West Bridgewater and Taunton.
Enterprise writer Kyle Alspach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.