Cape Cod Healthcare leaders said they have a message of hope and optimism for the community at the start of the new year.
Cape Cod Healthcare President and CEO Michael K. Lauf said Monday that plans are on track for a new four-story tower at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis and for an upgrade of the hospital’s emergency department to a Level 3 trauma center.
Also in the works is a search for a new physical location for the health care system’s Trachsel Neuroscience Institute and Memory Center, and plans to upgrade the intensive care units at Falmouth Hospital.
The health care organization also plans to open a new urgent care center — its sixth — in Orleans next year.
“This is a bit of optimism for our community,” Lauf said in an interview Monday. “Even in the most challenging of times you can still see around the bend. It’s a new year.”
Plans part of $125M fundraising campaign
A $125 million fundraising campaign will help pay for the initiatives, and help redefine the delivery of health care on Cape Cod, Lauf said.
In a video announcing the public phase of the campaign, he said, “Our campaign is about investing in the future, so people know their health care needs will continue to be met.”
Health care officials are naming the fundraising initiative the “Quality. Trust. Partnership” campaign.
So far the campaign has raised more than 30,000 donations, coming to more than $100 million, he said.
Health care officials said the “quiet phase” of the campaign began in 2016.
“We felt with the new year it was time to announce our campaign publicly,” Lauf said.
The goal now is to raise an additional $25 million or more, said Christopher Lawson, senior vice president and chief development officer for Cape Cod Healthcare.
Recent donations have included a historic $10 million gift in support of the new tower project at Cape Cod Hospital from the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust directors, Peter and Pamela Barbey of Hyannisport.
The gift made last fall was the largest in Cape Cod Hospital’s history.
The funds will go toward the four-story tower, which will house cancer and cardiology services. Renderings are being prepared and should be ready this month, Lauf said.
He anticipated groundbreaking will take place in October or November this year.
The original plan, for a six-story building, was put on hold in 2020 as the health care system struggled with the financial devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cape Cod Healthcare officials said that other donations in recent years have created:
- The Reilly Family Oncology Research Center to provide clinical trials to Cape Cod residents close to home.
- The Stoneman Heart and Vascular Institute
- The Trachsel Neuroscience Institute and Memory Center for care of stroke, Alzheimer’s, brain injuries and other neurological services. The services are currently being provided by physicians as health care officials explore opportunities for a physician location for the center.
- Renovation of the Mary McCarthy Care Center for hospice services in East Sandwich. The center reopened following renovations in November 2020.
“To have care where people need it and want it is so important,” Lauf said.
He said physician recruitment and retention is another goal of the campaign, as are improvements to Falmouth Hospital’s ICU services that will bring the units up to date with current technology.
The upgrades will allow Falmouth Hospital to expand its surgical services, Lauf said.
Cape Cod Healthcare closed units, laid off employees
Falmouth Hospital closed its maternity and pediatric units in 2020, citing a 10-year decline in birth rates.
Also in 2020, Cape Cod Healthcare laid off 118 employees — about 2% of its workforce — after it had a $100 million drop in expected revenue during the pandemic.
Despite the pandemic, Cape Cod Healthcare is proceeding with plans for the future of what Lauf called one of the few remaining independent hospital systems in the state.
“This pandemic will end. We don’t know when it will end, but it will end.”
Lauf said Cape Cod Hospital is “really close” to applying to the American College of Services for verification of resources necessary for a Level 3 trauma center. The goal is to be approved by the necessary agencies for the designation by 2023, Lauf said.
Other plans include establishing an up-to-date infectious disease suite at Cape Cod Hospital and to open a new wing of the JML Care Center in Falmouth to new patients and residents.
Lauf said the wing is ready to serve skilled nursing patients and residents, but doesn’t have enough staff yet to provide short- and long-term skilled nursing care due to the current labor shortage.
“We have a vision. We took this vision and began to fundraise around it.”
“The capital campaign is important to our mission,” Lauf said.
“It’s important to our future survival.”