Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center celebrates the opening of its new Patient Pavilion, a project started in 2020

DHMC Patient Pavilion Ribbon Cutting

A ribbon cutting on Friday, April 14, 2023, celebrated the much-anticipated opening of the new five-story Patient Pavilion at Dartmouth Health's Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon.

Ground was broken for the 240,000-square-foot building at New Hampshire's only academic medical center in July 2020, and the completion adds 64 state-of-the-art, single-occupancy inpatient rooms, new Medical Specialty Care and Heart and Vascular units, and a new Nursing Education Center. The building also includes two floors that have been "shelled" to accommodate future needs with an additional 64 rooms, which will allow DHMC space to grow as complex medical care increases with northern New England's aging population.

It is the first expansion of DHMC's inpatient facilities since the medical center opened in 1991. The first patients are expected to be admitted to the Pavilion on Monday, May 2.

"The Patient Pavilion represents the future of healthcare for the people of northern New England," said Joanne M. Conroy, MD, CEO and president of Dartmouth Health. "This new building is so much more than bricks and mortar, steel and glass—it's the foundation for meeting the growing needs of our community. For our most critically ill and injured patients, help and hope are within these walls."

Each 32-bed floor is divided into identical pods of 16 beds, with clinical support space provided for each pod. These pods provide flexibility in dividing the floor by patient needs. Each floor connects horizontally into the existing DHMC building, providing multiple options for patient flow to and from the diagnostic and treatment areas.

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The integrated design includes tools to reduce strain and increase workplace safety for both staff and patients. Thoughtful and specific spaces have been added to remove barriers to providing the best care, including modern co-working spaces and nursing hubs located among the patient rooms, technology advances to improve patient experience, and access to more natural light and respite rooms that ensure dedicated space is available for staff to recharge. The adaptable new patient rooms provide appropriate clearance, power and medical gases to convert to critical care rooms without renovation.

"The Pavilion's innovative design allows us to develop improved approaches to care delivery," said Susan A. Reeves, EdD, RN, CENP, DHMC's executive vice president and Dartmouth Health chief nursing executive. "As our state's only academic medical center, we partner with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth to study and test how we can improve our care, then we take what we learn and we put it into action in our hospital. We're combining cutting-edge technology with our personal, caring touch to model and teach how high-quality, safe care should be delivered.  And for many of our patients, we can deliver that care close to home. We are very proud to complete the Pavilion on time and on budget."

"At the outset of the project, we spent significant time with Dartmouth Health to understand the vision and purpose of the new Patient Pavilion. We designed the building through an integrated design process inclusive of landscape, architecture, planning and interiors to create one cohesive story and language," said Jessica R. Stebbins, IIDA, associate vice president and health principal at HDR, the architecture firm responsible for the planning, design and delivery of the project. "DHMC is a nationally recognized academic medical center and is extremely committed to the integration of clinical care, education and research. When you approach the building, the design reflects DHMC's commitment to excellence in these three core areas. Design elements respect the culture of the Upper Valley and New England while bringing their academic commitment into the clinical environment."

The new main lobby offers essential spaces and resources, including a conference center, inpatient registration, financial services, chapel, and an area to accommodate a future café and exterior terrace. Of note is a large, bright and airy patient discharge lounge, providing a comfortable space for up to 15 patients with amenities, and that allows newly vacated patient rooms to be turned over quickly for patients who are waiting for admission to an inpatient bed.

"Consigli Construction employed innovative building and procurement strategies when constructing this state-of-the-art, energy-efficient Patient Pavilion to support the administration of quality care and services," said Brian Hamilton, vice president of healthcare at Consigli Construction. "Our team was grateful for the opportunity to partner with DHMC on this new addition, which will benefit the community for many years to come and will further establish DHMC as the regional leader in exceptional medical care."

The Pavilion also includes a complete utility plant—with two levels of emergency generators, specialized electric service, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and high-quality water and air filtering systems.

"Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center has long been committed to the health of the people who call this unique corner of the world home," noted DHMC Trustee Chair Roberta L. Hines, MD, professor of anesthesiology and chair emeritus of the department of anesthesiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. "We are deeply woven into the communities we serve, and our dedication to advancing health, through research, education, clinical practice and community partnerships, is personal. The distinct challenges and opportunities of care delivery in a setting such as ours became all the more relevant during the pandemic. I'm so proud of how all of our teams, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine, rallied to care for our neighbors and each other during these unprecedented times. I know this new space will make us even better prepared for the challenges of the future."

To learn more about the complete Pavilion project, visit the DHMC Patient Pavilion Project website.

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About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.