Betsy Nabel and Ron Walls present at Town Meeting.

Betsy Nabel and Ron Walls present at Town Meeting.

Updates on South Shore Hospital, Partners eCare and hospital safety and construction were the topics of a lively discussion during Town Meeting on Feb. 24. BWHers gathered in Bornstein Amphitheater and joined via webcast to hear about top-of-mind issues from BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD, and other hospital leaders. Here are some highlights from the meeting. You can also view the webcast and attendees can fill out a Town Meeting survey.

South Shore Hospital

Nabel shared that a previous agreement for Partners to acquire South Shore Hospital has been rejected by a Superior Court judge. “We’re not proceeding with the acquisition, but it’s not the end of our relationship with South Shore Hospital,” said Nabel. “We have a 10-year history, and we are working to figure out the best way to deliver care on the South Shore and continue our tight-knit, long-lasting relationship.”

Hospital safety

Nabel and Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness Eric Goralnick, MD, MS, Emergency Management Director Barry Wante and BWH Security Director Bob Chicarello discussed the importance of ensuring the safety of everyone at the Brigham while also continuing to be a welcoming place for patients and families.

Goralnick described how BWH’s preparedness group is conducting an extensive review of the events related to the January 20 shooting on the BWH campus, as is done after every major event. This review is designed to identify both strengths and opportunities for improvement in areas such as security, access, personnel, facilities, training and response. The first recommendation of the group is to commission an external security expert to conduct a comprehensive assessment of BWH’s safety and security procedures and personnel. The review will be conducted in the coming months.

Town 3

This meeting is a welcome communication and fosters engagement, trust of leadership and an empowered workforce.”

– survey respondent

Wante and Chicarello urged BWHers to watch the hospital’s active shooter video (via HealthStream), sign up for the Employee Alert System and always wear their hospital ID badges correctly when on campus. BWHC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ron M. Walls, MD, encouraged BWHers to be aware of their surroundings, help those who seem lost in their travels and call BWH Security at extension 2-6565 to report any suspicious behavior.

Town 13

From left: Ron Walls, Bob Chicarello and Eric Goralnick

“We have been national leaders in preparedness and response, and we are very confident in our security systems and people,” said Walls. “We are committed to taking every opportunity to improve. It will take all of us working together to get there, but we are starting from a very solid foundation.”

Partners eCare

Nabel also shared an update on Partners eCare, which launches at BWHC on May 30. “Let’s not be afraid to ask questions,” she said. “There are a lot of super users, and they will be at our elbow to help. I think this is a matter of pride for us; I know we’ll be leaders in this area.”

Construction, Cafeteria upgrades

Vinnie McDermott, vice president of Finance and Real Estate, Steve Dempsey, director of Planning and Construction, and George Player, Engineering director, detailed BWH’s coming construction upgrades. In addition to replacing doors on the service elevator cars and improving signage that directs people to other elevator banks and stairs, BWH is looking into other improvement options for the Tower elevators.

Town 7

From left: Vinnie McDermott, Steve Dempsey and George Player

Dempsey shared that all overhead signage along the Pike will be updated in March. Additionally, he said that BWH has almost completed the design and development stages for a Cafeteria renovation, which will feature upgrades to the food preparation and serving areas and will expand and improve the seating area, incorporating natural light and greenery. Phased construction is expected to begin in May.