Building a new Newport Health Center represents a long-term commitment on the part of New London Hospital to serve the Newport community. The preliminary step in the Building for Health project was taken in December 2012, when New London Hospital purchased its existing Newport Health Center facility that had previously been under lease, along with the adjacent former bowling alley and surrounding property.
Dignard Architectural of Bedford, NH and builder Fulcrum Associates of Amherst, NH have been selected for this project, based on the successful experience of these firms building hospitals and medical clinics throughout New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.
- With over 6,500 residents, Newport is the largest town in New London Hospital’s 15-town service area.
- Newport Health Center serves about one-third of the total number of New London Hospital patients, making its continued successful operation important organization-wide.
- Newport is in a “medically underserved” area. The recent Index of Medical Underservice of Sullivan County is 51.5 on a 100-point scale, with 0 being completely underserved and 100 being completely served. Any score of 62 or less is considered underserved. Medically Underserved Areas are so designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services for having “…too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty and/or high elderly population.”
- As a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, more residents of Newport and surrounding communities have health insurance and therefore improved access to and utilization of care, increasing demand for services at the Newport Health Center.
- Overall building quality—The current building is patched and tired, worn out and in need of extensive renovation, at a minimum; most other New London Hospital facilities have been upgraded or rebuilt in recent years.
- Effective service delivery—The current building is not designed to accommodate a modern “medical home” team approach to delivery of health care services, in which physicians, Physicians Assistants (PAs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and others work together for best patient care.
- Patient needs—Standards for privacy and accessibility (by those who are disabled; wheelchair access, for instance) are not adequately met in the current building.
- Room to grow— The new building is designed to accommodate growth in number of patient visits and additional health care providers. The Dartmouth-Hitchcock affiliation will provide opportunities to bring more specialty clinical services to the Newport Health Center.
- Community room—For wellness programs, health trainings and other community needs.
- Jobs—Employment will continue for dozens, with the potential for expansion, and a greatly improved work environment will help attract and retain highest quality staff.
- Community economics and pride—The attractive modern facility will be a highly visible site improvement, anchoring its main thoroughfare commercial location.
- Staff break rooms and exercise room—For communication, cohesiveness and appropriate staff care.
In stark contrast to what currently exists, the following links offer architectural renderings of the new Newport Health Center’s planned exterior and the interior configurations of each of its two floors.