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Our Leaders Reflect on The Promise Project in 2022

January 2, 2023
Last year was a big one for The Promise Project. After breaking ground on the Louis and Phyllis Friedman Building in September 2021, the team at GBMC spent 2022 constructing and closing in the exterior structure for the Friedman Building and laying the groundwork for the adjacent parking structure and Sandra R. Berman Pavilion.

John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, President and CEO of GBMC HealthCare, and Stacey McGreevy, Executive Vice President and COO of GBMC, have led the project since its beginning. McGreevy has been with GBMC for more than 25 years, serving in various finance and operational roles within the organization. Under her leadership, GBMC developed a 10-year master facility plan, which included bringing The Promise Project to fruition.

As a highly respected leader and physician, Dr. Chessare led the charge in executing GBMC’s vision, work that really began in 2010. Like a home renovation, GBMC needed to make structural changes first before moving into the cosmetic work. After improving the care experience through advanced primary care, process improvement work, and a keen focus on patient safety and quality, it was finally time to think about building a new space to practice this care. Dr. Chessare and Stacey McGreevy reflect on The Promise Project in 2022 and what the new year brings.

What has been the most exciting part thus far?
Dr. Chessare: The whole notion that we’re going to have a new, proper grand entrance with all the window space to see our beautiful campus is exciting. I enjoyed seeing the glass go up on the exterior and can feel the project start to come together visually. Also, the outpouring of support we received from the community in 2022 was phenomenal. We really could not ask for more loyal and dedicated supporters.

McGreevy: I appreciated the way we designed the rooms using the 3P process, which essentially allowed us to take a holistic look at design with a keen eye on creating something intensely thought-out and intentional. We mocked up a room in the garage using cardboard and Styrofoam where we could move pieces around, and the clinical caregivers and other stakeholders were able to walk around and really see how they would function in the space.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?
Dr. Chessare: The ribbon cutting. I am anticipating the opportunity to finally make this project come alive and be able to get into the building to start serving the community the way we know we can do best.

McGreevy: The grand opening for both the Friedman Building and the garage. It will be amazing to see the vision we have worked toward for so long come together and have the safe, modernized space with updated technology to care for patients. At that point, the exterior of the Berman Pavilion will be complete and it will be inspiring to see it all together.

What will be your favorite spot in the new space?
Dr. Chessare: There are so many great areas. On the fourth floor in the front will be a respite area for families that looks out over the entrance. I think it’s going to be beautiful. But I’m also looking forward to the Chapel and the gardens. Really, it seems, the areas I am looking forward to are ones that highlight the beauty of our campus—inside and out.

McGreevy: The outdoor gardens. On the third-floor atrium, there will be multiple points to be able to access these beautiful gardens. They will provide respite for caregivers as well as a place for reflecting and appreciating the beautiful landscaping. We are also dedicating a garden to Dr. John Chessare so it will be amazing to see and enjoy that space together when it becomes a reality.

At GBMC, our vision is to treat patients as if they were our own loved ones. Who are you picturing when you think of who we can serve in this new space?
Dr. Chessare: My family. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my time at GBMC and the idea that we will be able to serve them in the way we want to, fills me with pride. But at the end of the day, I always say, ‘if it were my daughter …’ My family is number one for me.

McGreevy: My mom. She is already an avid consumer of GBMC services—inpatient and outpatient. To be able to have a room that allows family members to be there during her care, and one I know has optimized technology, is reassuring. Something as simple as the electronic whiteboards, where she will be able to see her schedule for the day—when she gets meals, when there are therapies scheduled, when she is going for diagnostic testing—will make her care experience that much better.

What do you want the community to know about this project?
Dr. Chessare: GBMC is a good steward of the community’s resources. We didn’t just go build a replacement hospital. We focused resources on primary care first, where we needed to and now, we really need to upgrade our hospital facilities for the future. Jumping to build a three-story addition in 2010 might have been a really tangible way to show the community we were making progress, but it wasn't the right step. We knew it was the right thing to do to allocate resources to building advanced primary care first, and we were right.

McGreevy: I want them to know we designed these buildings with their input. We solicited feedback from volunteers, donors, patients, staff, and we really listened to what they wanted and designed the space to reflect their needs and desires. I want the community to know their input and what they wanted is what they will see when they see the new space.
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