Deborah Heart And Lung Center Begins $108M Expansion

Staff and local officials marked the start of construction on DEBORAH100: The Project. (Photo courtesy Deborah Heart and Lung Center)

  BROWN MILLS – Construction has officially begun on DEBORAH100: The Project, a $108 million capital expansion and renovation project at Deborah Heart and Lung Center.

  The groundbreaking took place on February 21 just in time for the celebration of Deborah’s 100th Anniversary this year.

  This will be the first major expansion at the Brown Mills location since the mid 1990s. Previously, the Hospital added and renovated more than 120,000 square feet of space and then again in 2018 with a 60,000 square foot freestanding Medical Office Building.

  The new expansion and renovation is financed by an $88 million U.S. Department of Agriculture low-interest loan for rural development; $10 million from Greater Commercial Lending; and, a Capital Fundraising Campaign by Deborah Hospital Foundation that has raised the necessary balance of funds.

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  “Deborah clinical and support staff were fully engaged in the planning of the new and renovated space,” President and CEO of Deborah Heart and Lung Center Joseph Chirichella said. “Our Facilities Team created a simulated patient room to the exact drawing specifications where staff was able to provide their suggestions for how the space should be designed. When completed, all patient rooms will be private, all new rooms will be critical care and isolation capable, and there will be a floor of dedicated respite space for staff with indoor and outdoor covered lounges as well as quiet rooms.” 

  Working with Ewing Cole, Architects and Engineers as well as General Contractor Torcon, Inc., the new construction includes a three-story vertical addition to existing hospital space, having a total of 36 private patient rooms. Three existing patient care units will be renovated following the new construction, bringing the Hospital’s total licensed bed count to 95.

  Additionally, upgrades include the Hospital’s cardiac catheterization labs, a new pharmacy clean-room, and new robotic technology in the electrophysiology labs. Throughout the new construction and renovations, the most advanced digital and electronic systems have been integrated.

  “We are excited to begin this new construction,” Chirichella said. “Building towards the future has always been a Deborah underpinning, and with our 100th anniversary this year, it is fitting that we are embarking on a bold new chapter in the Hospital’s future.”

  “This project, which began prior to COVID, was aimed at increasing our total number of critical care beds, enhancing patient privacy and well-being, along with the well-being of our Clinical and Support Team,” Deborah Executive Vice President and COO Joseph Manni said. “The pandemic has served to reinforce our vision of these needs, and fortify our resolve to continue providing the highest quality cardiac, pulmonary, and vascular care in the region.” 

  “Unveiling new patient care units and modernizing existing space is an exciting anniversary present to share with the community,” Chirichella said. “Deborah has long been a beacon of hope, research, innovation, and medical miracles that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives over the decades. All of this has been accomplished with our hallmark of kindness and compassion, and without causing financial distress to our patients.”

  “We are certain our patients and staff will be delighted in the new spaces we are creating for them. This new construction will continue to burnish and build Deborah’s legacy long into the future,” Chirichella added.