Carney Hospital unveils new operating rooms

There were broad smiles on the faces of the physicians and staff at Carney Hospital this week, as three new state-of-the-art operating rooms were unveiled to the public.

Calling it “the new Carney Hospital,” CEO Bill Walczak presided over ceremonies displaying the $10.2 million surgical suite, part of an aggressive capital investment program by new owner Steward Health Care, the for-profit company which last year purchased the Carney and others in the Caritas Christi network.

“This is the first event the hospital has had to celebrate a new Carney Hospital,” Walczak told a small group who had gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony this Tuesday. “I can tell you the best days of the Carney Hospital are not in the past - they’re in the future,” he said.

Walczak, a former community health center manager who joined Carney last winter, added, “It’s an example of the kind of investment that we’re seeing in our community hospitals, for the first time in generations, really. Back in the 70’s when we were building a health care system for Dorchester, Carney Hospital was the premier center of health care in the community.

“They (community hospitals) are the health care of the future, because people do want to get their health care in their community, they want to be seen where they live.”

Joining the ceremony were: UMass-Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, who chairs the Carney board of directors; Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer; and Steward officials Dr. Michael G. Callum and Dr. Mark Girard.

“A priority of the board is to ensure that Carney offers state of the art technology throughout the hospital, and develop innovative programs for the people of this great part of the city,” Motley said. “Why should the residents of Dorchester have to travel to downtown Boston when they have a great hospital and community partner right here. Carney has a parent organization that is ready to invest in this community.

“Today is a great day.”

Carney chief of surgery Dr. Martin Williams smiled broadly as he led a tour of one of the operating rooms. “They are two to three times larger than our 55 year old operating rooms located just 75 yards from here,” Dr. Williams said.

Pointing out a wide array of high tech features, he explained, “As you can see, the anasthesia machine is over there, and then we have a monitor than can be positioned so that you always a have a clear view as far as the operation is concerned.

“I think if you put it all together, this makes it top-notch,” Dr. Williams said.

In a spontaneous moment, the surgeon was joined by Dr. Martin Acquardro, Carney’s chief of anesthesiology, whom described Walczak as the “architect” of the new suites.

“I am a lucky man. I’m very proud of this,” Dr. Acquardro exclaimed. “It’s a milestone for Carney Hospital. It has a rich history, and it’s going to have a rich future.”

The hospital planned to conduct a two hour open house for the general public on Wednesday night, August 3.