Hartford HealthCare Park & Main Medical Center is now under construction in West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
What will soon be Hartford HealthCare’s sixth location in West Hartford is already taking shape at the corner of South Main Street and Park Road, and officials celebrated the project Tuesday by signing a column that will become part of the building’s lobby.
Park & Main Medical Center, as the building will be called, will bring additional primary care doctors as well as specialty practices to the area.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this project,” Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks told We-Ha.com. It will provide the organization with the ability to deliver more affordable and accessible health care, and the building itself will become a community asset.
“This is really a gateway to West Hartford,” Flaks said.
Access to internal medicine physicians, who provide primary care, which will be a focus of the center, is critical to the transformation of health care, Flaks said.
“We have such a high demand for primary care,” Karen Goyette, senior vice president for Strategy & System Integration for Hartford HealthCare told We-Ha.com.
The building should be ready for occupancy beginning in February 2022, and in the first phase, in addition to five or six primary care physicians, specialists in the areas of neuroscience, ENT, and perhaps orthopedics will be located there, Goyette said. In the second phase, an imaging facility will open with the capacity for performing services such as MRIs, CT scans, and mammography.
Construction on the roughly 17,000 square foot, two-story building began as soon as the former Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home on the site was demolished in late May, and work is progressing at a rapid pace. “The town has really been so supportive,” Goyette said.
Hartford HealthCare already has two centers in West Hartford that provide primary care – in Bishops Corner and just down South Main Street at the corner of New Britain Avenue – but those practices are full.
“What we’re doing in building facilities like this, we’re transforming health care,” Flaks said during the ceremony. He said Hartford HealthCare is making progress and advancing health care, “one project at a time” and primary care is at the heart of their vision.
Statewide, Hartford HealthCare has 26 projects underway like the one being built in West Hartford. Health care is too expensive, Flaks said, but bringing care to the communities will provide more accessibility and affordability, “with higher levels of excellence [so] we can deliver health care equitably,” he said.
“We are investing to transform our health care system to be very different,” Flaks said. “We are disrupting ourselves and as we move forward we are accountable for delivering care more affordably, more accessibly, and we are going to have great transparency around the services that we do.”
West Hartford has been a wonderful partner, and is a critical partner to the region, Flaks said.
Mayor Shari Cantor said she is thrilled with the project. “When he did bring it to me I was so excited,” she said.
“The most important thing is preventative care, that wellness care,” Cantor said. “Hartford HealthCare is a shining light … and we’re a community that is central to so much.”
The town reflects the demographic of the state, and “equity is really important to us, and accessibility, and we know that this transformative care where you can access those necessary things to keep you well, and keep you moving forward and keep you functioning … is really important to have,” Cantor said.
Dr. Cynthia Heller, physician in chief of Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, has lived in West Hartford since 1990. “There’s not enough access to primary care, even in a town like West Hartford,” she said.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be opening a third access point,” she said. Two of the primary doctors who will be opening the office will transfer from the location at the corner of South Main and New Britain Avenue, and they and the new physicians will be able to coordinate care with the multiple specialists that will rotate through the space – pulmonary, podiatry, and medical weight loss among them.
“We’re excited to open as soon as we can get the computer components … and bring the primary care close to where the people live,” Heller said.
Development partners in the Park & Main Medical Center project include Tecca Ventures and QA&M Architecture, FIP Construction, and MBH Architecture.
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