Friday, July 1, 2011

Lunder Dedication Week

MGHers, donors and special guests celebrate the opening of the Lunder Building

Lunder Legacy: From left, Jack Emory, president of the Lunder Foundation; Austen; the Lunders; Slavin; Bruce Rosengard, MD, surgical director of Cardiac Transplantation; and Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, FAAN, senior vice president of Patient Care and chief nurse, at the June 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony

The MGH’s iconic Bulfinch Building, finished in 1823, was considered to be ahead of its time. During a period when few cities offered more than almshouses to treat the sick poor, the MGH’s first building offered an early form of central heating to keep patients warm, as well as many windows to provide natural light, a breeze and views of the nearby Charles River.

With the completion of the Lunder Building – a 530,000-square-foot, 14-floor facility featuring the latest in medical technology and architectural design – the MGH is once again leading the way in patient care. The hospital and local community celebrated the completion of the building during Lunder Dedication Week, June 20 through 26. Departments and services begin moving into the building July 1, and the first surgical case will be performed in August. The first inpatient will transition to the building in early September.

“It is wonderful to be able to open this new building – the largest, most technologically advanced clinical facility in our history – during our bicentennial year,” says Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “The Lunder Building will enable us to meet the growing demand for clinical services and provide the highest quality patient- and family-centered care for years to come.”

The facility was designed by architecture firm NBBJ and built by Turner Construction. Jean Elrick, MD, senior vice president for Administration, and David Hanitchak, director of Planning and Construction, have guided the project since it began in 2005. 

“The completion of the Lunder Building was truly a team effort,” says Elrick. “There were literally thousands involved in its success – from the architects who designed the building and the workers who carried out that vision, to the MGH employees who offered their insight and the donors who funded the work.”

During Lunder Dedication Week, an estimated 3,700 employees previewed the building at open houses featuring self-guided tours of the Clark Center for Radiation Oncology, the triage area of the Sumner M. Redstone Emergency Department, the operating rooms, and patient rooms of the W. Gerald Austen, MD Inpatient Care Pavilion. MGHers also were able to visit information tables in the James and Carol Herscot Atrium and learn about the building’s environmentally friendly design, as well as the next building taking shape on the MGH campus, the Paul S. Russell, MD, Museum of Medical History and Innovation. More than 100 employees volunteered during the week, staffing the information tables and serving as greeters and guides.

On June 23, many donors who have made the new building possible were celebrated through a series of events. More than 1,000 individuals and groups raised a total of $191.7 million in funding for the facility. Current and former MGH staff, volunteers, trustees and honorary trustees and their spouses who have made major contributions to construction were acknowledged, including W. Gerald Austen, MD; the late Martin Bander and his wife, Kay; the late Francis Burr and his wife, Louise; Ferdinand Colloredo-Mansfeld; Charles and Anne Gifford; Art and Vida Goldstein; Louise Riemer and her late husband, Karl; and Ronald L. and Mary Skates. Departments, areas and rooms throughout the building have been named in their honor.

Peter and Paula Lunder, for whom the building is named, participated in a tour and ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside their family, friends and hospital leadership. The Lunders and their charitable organization, the Lunder Foundation, provided $35 million to support the building and help fund the James J. Dineen, MD, Maine-MGH Health Education Partnership.

“Good medical care is vital to our community,” said Paula Lunder at the event. “With this state-of-the-art building, the Lunder family is delighted to partner with the MGH to provide a facility where research and patient care at the highest level can continue.”

An open house and celebration also were held June 24 for city and state leadership and other community guests. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, State Rep. Marty Walz and City Councilor Michael Ross attended the ceremony and offered remarks. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown also paid a visit to the new building.

“Because of institutions like the MGH, we have a state that has always set the standard for medicine,” said Menino. “This new building is a beacon of hope for patients and their families.”

Menino described how the creation of the Lunder Building has helped bolster the local economy, creating 1,000 construction jobs and 450 permanent full-time positions. Walz then spoke, congratulating the MGH and detailing the high quality care she had personally received as a patient. Ross followed, offering insight into the ways the hospital has contributed to the community and advanced medicine around the world.

For more information about the Lunder Building, access

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