WEBSTER, Mass. – October 8, 2013 – Harrington HealthCare System broke ground this morning for an $8.8 million reconstruction of the Emergency Department on its Webster campus and introduced the projects previously anonymous donor, who has pledged to match every dollar raised for the reconstruction, up to $4 million.
The new Emergency Department will be known as the Remillard Family Emergency Department because of the $4 million matching grant from Arthur Remillard Jr. and his Remillard Family Foundation, Harrington President and CEO Edward H. Moore told donors and dignitaries who attended the groundbreaking ceremony at Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard at 340 Thompson Road in Webster.
“We are here today because of the generosity of all of you who have donated to this much-needed project,” Moore told the group. “Because of you, we are now able to begin rebuilding our Emergency Department in Webster. What once appeared impossible is now a triumph for Harrington and the community.”
Moore also introduced Arthur Remillard Jr., whose foundations $4 million matching grant helped launch the project more than two years ago. Arthur Remillard and the Remillard Family Foundation had not been identified as the anonymous donors until this morning.
“Arthur, we cant thank you enough,” Moore said as he introduced Arthur Remillard Jr. “By your generous gift, you are making it possible for us to construct a life-saving Emergency Department that will serve the needs of this community for many, many years to come.”
Remillards $4 million anonymous matching grant helped kick off the Harrington fund raising campaign – known as Strengthening Our Future – more than two years ago.
The Remillard Family Foundation, based in Webster, is one of the larger nonprofits in the region. The privately held organization benefits philanthropy, voluntarism and grant-making foundations. It is known for its gifts to performing arts programs and healthcare institutions.
Arthur J. Remillard Jr. founded The Commerce Insurance Company in Webster in 1971 along with numerous affiliated companies, and served as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Commerce Group, Inc., from its inception in 1976 until his retirement in 2006.
Also on hand for the ground breaking were a number of state legislators and elected officials. Harringtons Moore thanked them for all they have done to help the project. He noted the role that State Senate President Pro Tem Richard Moore, with support from State Senator Stephen Brewer and State Representative Harold Naughton Jr., played in securing $1.5 million in funding for the project in the Fiscal 2014 Commonwealth of Massachusetts budget.
State Senate President Pro Tem Richard Moore, who has been a longtime champion for healthcare in the region, said, “Its not often that a state legislator actually gets to do something as meaningful for his constituents as saving a life or the life of a loved one. Successfully sponsoring and gaining substantial state budget funding to move this new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department toward becoming a reality by next year, is one of my proudest achievements to date.
“Without the constant support of my constituents who have sent me to represent them on Beacon Hill, and to achieve both seniority and leadership in the Senate, as well as gain the trust and support of long-time Senate colleagues, such as Senator Brewer and Senate President Therese Murray, I could not have achieved this success,” he said. “The result will be measured in saving the lives of constituents and their families in the years to come.”
Harrington has raised more than $5.8 million toward the $8.8 million project, enough to break ground. In addition to the $1.5 million from the state budget and the matching funds from the Remillard Family Foundation, funding has come from individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations, such as Harringtons Auxiliary.
The Webster Emergency Department at Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard serves the residents of Webster, Dudley, Oxford, Douglas and surrounding communities, but it has not had a major renovation since it was built in 1955.
Its highly trained nurses, physicians and staff handle 12,000 cases a year — a number that is expected to rise to 15,000 in the next three years. The reconstruction will increase the number of beds from five to nine, increase the square footage from 3,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet, and allow Harrington to accommodate the increased patient traffic it expects in the years to come.
The new Emergency Department will also include:
• Improved patient privacy, comfort and confidentiality, including a new registration area that can accommodate the increasing numbers of patients while protecting patient confidentiality and privacy
• Three separate areas for psychiatric emergency service patients
• A private family waiting area
• A rebuilt and enhanced ambulance entrance
• A newly constructed main entrance and lobby
Construction of the Remillard Family Emergency Department is expected to be complete by the fall of 2014.
Harringtons Moore noted that the Strengthening Our Future campaign to raise funds for the reconstruction is not over, despite the fact that construction has begun.
“We still need the support of the public as this project continues,” he said. “Weve been successful in raising money for this much-needed project, but we still have an additional $3 million to go.”
To make a donation, or to learn more about the campaign, please go to harringtonhos.wpengine.com/give.