Floor designer

In the redeveloped hospital wing, patients have access to specialist care and feel at home


NEW MILFORD – After opening its primary care practice in 2017, New Milford Hospital realized there was a need for additional specialist services to better serve patients. A converted third-floor wing that opened in late February addresses this need – and does so in a very New Milford style.

The wing, which previously housed administrative offices, now serves as a multi-specialty unit with four specialist offices and a fifth cardiology office on the first floor. Additional services also include pulmonology, gastroenterology and general surgery.

Dr Thomas Koobatian, executive director of the hospital, said the multi-specialty services have made the care the hospital can provide more efficient.

“Primary care physicians rely on specialists like cardiologists or pulmonologists for patients with special needs in these areas,” he said. Since they serve so many older residents in New Milford, allowing them options that eliminate extra travel, even as close to Danbury, can ease the burden.

“I think access is really the most important thing,” Koobatian said.

According to Koobatian, the addition of primary care has been very successful and has kept them busy in recent years, but “actually created a need for specialists” to whom doctors could refer patients. The hospital has already registered around 3,000 visits to the wing so far, according to Koobatian.

“It’s very successful. They got really busy, pretty quickly. It’s a brand new beautiful design, all the equipment is modern, ”he said.

But it wasn’t just about adding new specialties to the converted wing. The hospital wanted to make the area welcoming and familiar.

“We also wanted it to be really comfortable, a lot of people don’t like going to the hospital,” Koobatian said.

They turned to art.

Serve people, not just disease

The century-old hospital has not only tailored its services to the needs of the community, but also to the character and style of New Milford. Along the hallway to the Multi-Specialty Wing are photos of New Milford’s Barn Quilt Trail.

So, as patients walk around the new wing, they will get a glimpse of their home.

Thanks to a donation from Julie and Bob Bailey, this photo gallery, featuring the 19 different quilts on the state’s only Barn Quilt Trail, will be on display for everyone.

“It really connects our patients to our community,” Koobatian said. “As soon as they get out of the elevator, they look at two beautiful pictures of barn quilts.”

Terri Nackid, Head of Leadership and Planned Giving at Nuvance Health, pitched the idea for this new gallery to Julie Bailey, a member of the Barn Quilt Trail Committee. Soon the hallway was filled with images of New Milford art.

“It was a happy thing that it turned out that way and it was a perfect way to show off the barn quilt in a setting that really made sense,” Nackid said. “The hospital is truly at the heart of the great New Milford community. We really wanted to have another way to celebrate this.

The large 8-by-8-foot squares represent colorful, hand-painted historic quilt patterns selected only by barn owners with input from local artists. Each barn’s quilt square is made in the traditional New England style or original modern style and contains elements of family or farm history. This is partly the reason for the inclusion of the gallery in the hospital.

“The hospital is truly at the heart of the great New Milford community. We really wanted to have another way of celebrating this, ”said Nackid.

While the idea for the project dates back to 2013, the first phase of installing painted quilt squares began in 2017.

The photos on display at the hospital were taken by local photographer and graphic designer Linda Pouder and are also featured on the New Milford Barn Quilt Trail website.

Julie Bailey said she hopes people will be inspired to bring a Barn Quilt trail to nearby towns and create an even larger trail system to attract tourists.

“They will have hundreds, if not thousands of patients going through these doors each year,” said Julie Bailey.

Koobatian even picked a few favorites – photos that remind him of another time in his life.

“I went to the University of Vermont medical school, so I love the ones with the cows,” he said, referring to three designs hanging on farms in the area titled “Big Cow -father Hipp “,” Holstein Cow “and” Cows “. and baskets. ‘

Art also serves a larger purpose.

“If it is convenient to access the services and it is comfortable, they are more likely to make that connection and follow up on other appointments later, because it is an easy thing to access and the atmosphere is nice, ”Koobatian said. .

“Anything we can do to reduce stress will help the patient’s overall health. “


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