As the late afternoon sun cast the new Ambulatory Care Center in a brilliant pinkish hue, the UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center community—including, importantly, patients who will be cared for in the new facility—gathered for a ceremonial ribbon cutting and celebration of the state-of-the-art facility.
Chancellor Michael F. Collins introduced a short video in which leaders of both institutions, the Conquering Diseases Clinical Research Center and the four UMass Memorial Centers of Excellence—Diabetes, Cancer, Orthopedics, and Heart and Vascular—expressed their excitement over the new facility and what it represents. The overarching sentiment was one of pride in the collaboration from which the new center was created and the promise of what the ongoing collaboration will mean for patient care, medical education and clinical research in the coming years.
ACC ribbon cutting ceremony
Speaking at the ribbon cutting on behalf of the clinical system, Walter H. Ettinger, MD, president of UMass Memorial Medical Center and associate vice provost of Clinical & Population Health Research for UMMS, commended the hundreds of people who dedicated thousands of hours to guide the design and construction of the building, which he described as “a testament to our dedication to our patients and our community.” Furthering that community connection, Dr. Ettinger noted that more than 225 original works of art by 65 artisans—all from the Central Massachusetts area—adorn the walls of the ACC.UMass President Jack M. Wilson, noting that the ACC originally was conceived of as office space for Medical School faculty, remarked that “this beautiful facility became what it needed to be: a focal point for the world class clinical research and clinical care that is the hallmark of the UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial partnership.”
Teresa Russo, BS, RN, senior director of the Cancer Center of Excellence, representing the staff of the ACC, applauded the effort to create a healing environment for patients, including “soothing colors, natural elements, wonderful views of the lake and artwork that seems to come from the heart and puts patients at ease.” Perhaps most poignant, however, were the comments from Ann Crowley, a lung cancer patient who has experienced care in both the old facility and the new. A member of the UMass Memorial Patient Advisory Council, Crowley toured the building several times during construction to “ensure that the patient-centered experience really is patient-centered” and to give feedback on the design and layout of patient areas, all while undergoing her own treatment in the “old” building. Her conclusion? “You listened,” she said. “The ACC is a remarkable facility that matches the remarkable and compassionate care the staff has always provided.”
More information about the ACC can be found in this press release.