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HMS Teaching Hospital Plans First Expansion in Decades

Harvard Medical School
The Gordon Hall of Medicine stands at the center of the Harvard Medical School's quadrangle.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Medical School teaching hospital, is planning a new building, the hospital’s first in two decades.

The expansion, which will comprise ten floors and 345,000 square feet of space, is slated to be built along Brookline Avenue in the hospital’s West Campus. It will contain 158 new patient beds, including 30 intensive care unit rooms, representing a 23 percent expansion in the number of patients the hospital can accommodate.

Plans released on the hospital’s website show the building will also have a medical helicopter landing pad, a rooftop garden, and single-bed rooms. Compared to other large Boston-area hospitals, Beth Israel experiences higher occupancy and does not have as many single-bed rooms, the Boston Herald reported.

Jennifer L. Kritz, senior director of communications at Beth Israel, wrote in an emailed statement that the hospital is “committed to supporting our Harvard Medical School-affiliated faculty and training the next generation of physicians.”

She also wrote that new conference spaces equipped with technology will foster
“the sharing of innovative scientific and medical knowledge and modern teaching methods.”

Before builders can break ground on the new building, Beth Israel must obtain approval from multiple local and state agencies. The approval process includes a month-long public comment period that extends until Feb. 12.

Last November, Walter Armstrong, a senior vice president at Beth Israel, started that process by sending a letter of intent to the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

Documents that Beth Israel filed with the city earlier this month suggest that construction on the addition will begin in 2019, pending approval, and should be completed by the end of 2022. They also indicate that, when finished, the building will likely be Beth Israel’s second-largest facility by square footage.

The construction plans come as Beth Israel is also seeking approval for a merger with Lahey Health and several other local hospitals, a deal that is currently under cost and market impact review from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. The state agency says the merger would “reshape the delivery of care for millions of patients” and predicts its review will last through July 2018.

—Staff writer Luke W. Vrotsos can be reached at luke.vrotsos@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter at luke_vrotsos.

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