SALEM — After closely examining for the past three years how patients are managed, a more than $200 million investment in Salem and Lynn’s Union hospitals and in local community health centers should provide better access to medical and psychiatric services in the region, North Shore Medical Center President and CEO Robert G. Norton said.
Over the next three years, Salem Hospital, with the help of a massive $170 million addition, will become North Shore Medical Center’s primary acute-care hospital for the two cities and surrounding communities, Norton said.
Lynn’s Union Hospital will become a center for psychiatric, primary, specialty and urgent care, while keeping its emergency room. North Shore Physicians Group offices and North Shore and Lynn Community health centers will be expanded.
“So all of our acute, inpatient medical, surgical business will be located here,” Norton said in an interview yesterday.
The addition to Salem Hospital would be built on the campus’s Highland Avenue side. It will house a new and expanded emergency room and add 72 private rooms for patients, bringing the total bed count to approximately 300. Under the transition plan, 26 psychiatric beds in Salem are moving to Union Hospital.
Salem Hospital’s emergency department was upgraded 12 years ago, Norton said, but its services are in such high demand, it has been out of space for the past five years.
“I am excited and encouraged that North Shore Medical Center is undertaking a project that will add jobs, expand health care services for our community, and improve and streamline the layout of the NSMC campus,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll in a statement. “This $170 million investment in our city is one more way that Salem is growing and moving forward in a positive and progressive fashion.”
Lynn’s Union Hospital will close all of its 83 inpatient medical care beds, with most of those headed to Salem. This facility will focus on primary specialty and urgent care, as well as psychiatric and behavioral health, Norton said. Union Hospital’s campus will have approximately 100 psychiatric patient beds, after some from Salem and others from Hallmark Health System’s Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford are relocated there. Partners HealthCare announced a new affiliation agreement yesterday with Hallmark Health.