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Connecticut Children’s opens $8 million specialty care center in Fairfield County

File: Dr Nicholas Bennett at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in 2014.
Lucy Nalpathanchil
Connecticut Public
Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford

Hartford-based Connecticut Children’s hospital opened a 30,000-square-foot specialty care center in Westport.

“Families in Fairfield County can take comfort knowing there’s no need to drive long distances to see our board-certified pediatric specialists,” said Jim Shmerling, president and CEO of Connecticut Children’s. “Their child’s medical needs can be met right here in Westport.”

The $8 million facility will be staffed by 50 doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians and is the “largest, multi-specialty care center within our ambulatory network,” said Matthew Farr, vice president of ambulatory operations.

The site will bring more than 20 of the health system’s specialties – including cardiology, oncology and orthopedics – under one roof. It includes exam and procedure rooms; an outpatient infusion center; imaging services; speech, occupational and physical therapy; EEG and echocardiogram services; and a casting room.

“The overhead in the hospital setting is very significant,” Farr said. “We’ve had tremendous success with our satellites in Glastonbury and Farmington [and the rest of the state]. Our approach is to avoid having patients and families rely on coming to the hospital for care. Obviously the hospital is the place for emergency visits, for inpatient services, some surgical procedures. That model has been proven to be effective for us and profitable for us out in our communities.”

The cost differential for patient care in an ambulatory setting, versus a hospital setting is upwards of 20%, Farr said.

Connecticut Children’s has 17 ambulatory centers in Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.

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