ROCKPORT – Pen Bay Medical Center will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on June 26 at 1:30 p.m. to mark the start of construction on a 41,513-square-foot Health Center on its Rockport campus. It is to be located on Anchor Drive between the Sussman House and the existing hospital.
The event is to highlight local corporate donors, including Viking Lumber, Camden National Bank and Allen Agency. Other early donors include The First National Bank, Spectrum Health and CedarWorks. Early foundation contributors include the Sunshine Lady, Libra, Davis Family and the Fisher foundations.
The new facility will help PBMC keep pace with a Midcoast population that U.S. Census figures show has grown at a rate of nearly 2.5 percent, according to a news release from Pen Bay.
“Just a few years ago we faced a pressing shortage of primary care physicians,” said Mark Fourre, MD, president of PBMC and Waldo County General Hospital, in the release. “We responded by hiring more than 40 additional physicians and advanced practice providers. Our goal now is to support these new providers – and our existing providers – in a thoughtfully designed space that empowers them to make our coastal communities the healthiest in America.”
PBMC now has more than 90 physicians and advanced practice providers caring for patients on the campus.
The new Health Center will be a two story stand-alone building with the main entrance on Anchor Drive. In addition to a community room, the first floor will house the pediatrics, audiology and speech pathology, and ear, nose and throat practices, as well as pediatric physical and occupational therapy.
The Health Center will also provide space where specialists from the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland can meet with patients in Rockport, reducing the need for children with special health needs to travel to Portland, the release said.
The second floor will house the internal medicine, family medicine and psychiatry practices, as well as the Integrated Medicated Assisted Treatment practice for treating opioid use disorder.
“This building has been designed to make it easier for physicians and staff to collaborate and connect patients with the wellness, prevention and specialty services they deserve,” said Mark Eggena, MD, chief medical officer at PBMC and co-chair of the capital campaign to raise money for the new construction.
Construction will start in late July and the building will be ready for occupancy late in the summer of 2020. Hebert Construction LLC, of Lewiston, will serve as construction manager.
The architect, SMRT Inc., is a regional firm with offices in Portland, Bangor, Albany, N.Y., and Andover, Massachusetts.
They have designed many healthcare spaces, including the Dorothy Walker Bush Pavilion at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and the emergency department at Holyoke Medical Center in Massachusetts.
Hospital officials praised early donors whose generous gifts helped raised 70 percent of the total cost of the building, enough to begin construction.
“This strong start to our fundraising efforts sends a clear message that this building is a high priority for our community,” said Ann Bresnahan, co-chairperson of the capital campaign.
A former trustee of PBMC, Bresnahan currently sits on the Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation committee.
“But even as we celebrate this milestone, it is important to remember that we still need to raise a significant amount of money to complete this important project,” Bresnahan said. “This summer we will continue conversations with neighbors and friends to ensure that we achieve our fundraising goals.”