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New Pittsfield VA clinic sets pace for modern patient focus of network | Central Berkshires

PITTSFIELD — For the final yr, the second flooring of the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in downtown Pittsfield has been quietly reworked as half of a $4 million renovation to the house. Last week, a ribbon reducing ceremony revealed the fruits of that work: A modern, revolutionary and dignified new clinic for Pittsfield’s veterans that’s making waves throughout the state.

“It’s updated, it’s newer, it’s comfortable and appealing to the eyes,” Pittsfield VA Nurse Assistant Michelle Rachiele mentioned. “It’s what the veterans deserve.”

The transfer has greater than doubled the patient capability of the clinic’s previous residence at 73 Eagle St. For greater than 20 years employees labored to get essentially the most out of the previous Eagle Building’s iconic triangular design, however mentioned just lately issues have been getting too tight for sufferers and suppliers.

As of the clinic’s opening final week, employees say they’re succesful of serving about 2,500 veterans a yr within the new 11,500 sq. foot house.

“We’re happy for this opportunity to really invest in and modernize and provide the best clinical space to provide care and service to veterans where they live,” Andrew McMahon, the Associate Director of VA Central and Western Massachusetts mentioned.

The state-of-the-art house options extra than simply an aesthetic replace to the clinic. It implements the brand new patient-aligned care requirements which are being applied nationwide in VA care areas.

exam room

Patient care rooms encompass the places of work of caregivers on the new Pittsfield VA Clinic in Pittsfield. 

BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

Providers mentioned that within the clinic’s previous design on Eagle Street rooted suppliers in place and had sufferers shift from room to room as they acquired their vitals taken, met with specialists and had blood drawn. The new design flips that mannequin round.

Clinic Nurse Manager Melissa ZanVettor mentioned that now sufferers are introduced to at least one of 14 examination rooms organized round a central group house the place nurses, docs and medical clerks collaborate on methods to present the perfect care to the servicemen and ladies.

“In our old clinic that wasn’t really possible because of the way that was designed,” ZanVettor mentioned. “But we really had the ability to kind of design the space how we needed it — we’re really excited with that.”

The groups, referred to as Patient Aligned Care Teams, or PACT groups, work to coordinate their care for a veteran throughout specialties.

“We’re meeting every day talking about what’s happening … talking about who’s coming in, making sure we have all their information, all their labs are ordered that they need,” ZanVettor mentioned.

The new protocol and clinic design align within the PACT system with sufferers stationed comfortably in their very own room because the group involves them. Each examination room is outfitted to serve a range of wants from immunizations, to joint remedies or bodily remedy workout routines.

The clinic’s facilities exterior the examination rooms are sport changers, as properly, in response to suppliers. The new clinic creates a devoted wing for psychological well being care suppliers, hosts two new lab areas and has revolutionary telehealth areas which have the flexibility to attach sufferers with specialists throughout New England.

Mainstays to a health care provider’s toolbox — tools like stethoscopes and blood stress cuffs — at the moment are linked by way of cell carts and could be broadcast to a supplier states a manner.

“Some of the attachments like stethoscopes, our technician Bernie is able to place it on the patient and the provider on the other end can hear it,” ZanVettor mentioned. “So we’re looking at [hosting procedures] in dermatology, cardiology, endocrinology for folks who maybe don’t want to take the trip to Northampton or Boston.”

The enlargement of telemedicine is one thing that McMahon mentioned clinics have been engaged on for a very long time. But the artwork of telehealth has actually been perfected by suppliers for the reason that pandemic.

“We all became experts at it throughout the pandemic because we had to start delivering care through telehealth,” McMahon mentioned. “It’s just a new model to deliver care and hopefully provide some convenience for our veterans.”

McMahon mentioned that the Pittsfield clinic is the primary of a number of main renovations taking place throughout the state’s VA network, “coming in ahead of time and under budget” on the brand new design. On Monday, the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System unveiled a clinic created with the identical design on the UMass Chan Medical School.

Clinic manager Melissa Zanvettor

Melissa ZanVettor is the clinic nurse supervisor on the Pittsfield VA. “We actually had the flexibility to type of design the house how we would have liked it,” ZanVettor mentioned of the VA’s new house on the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in Pittsfield, “we’re actually excited with that.”

BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

While the Pittsfield location is one of the smallest clinics within the network, officers say native employees are main the way in which in how the brand new areas and patient packages ought to run.

“[VA New England] network director Ryan Lilly was at the ribbon-cutting and he commented that he thinks it’s the nicest clinic of this size in all of New England,” McMahon, mentioned. “It’s something that we believe as well.”

ZanVettor mentioned she’s extremely proud of the Pittsfield employees who’ve managed to undertake the brand new house and protocols expertly.

“The team actually here in Pittsfield has done a tremendous job with that delivery system, where they’re actually acting as the model for the rest of our network,” ZanVettor mentioned. “They really know their patients, they really care for their patients.”

Woman works in lab

Nurse Assistant Michelle Rachiele works within the new lab house on the Pittsfield VA facility. “They said this is what a space for veterans should look like with the American flag, the emblems of all the different services and things like that,” Rachiele mentioned of the brand new facility. “They mentioned, this looks like residence.”

pictures by BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

Rachiele is one of these group members. She’s labored 14 years on the Pittsfield clinic, operating the lab out of a room that she and ZanVettor joke was extra like a “broom closet.” She mentioned she’s just a little melancholy at leaving the Eagle Building the place she’d memorized each inch of the clinic.

But the reactions from sufferers have been greater than value it for Rachiele.

She mentioned just lately she walked right into a room the place a veteran and his spouse have been reviewing the brand new house.

“They said this is what a space for veterans should look like with the American flag, the emblems of all the different services and things like that,” Rachiele mentioned. “They said, this feels like home.”


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