Plainfield ED officially opens new doors to health
July 9, 2012
The Plainfield Backus Emergency Care Center officially opened its doors Monday, making potentially life-saving healthcare services available to residents in northern New London and southern Windham Counties.
The air was filled with enthusiasm and anticipation when the doors officially opened at 7 a.m., and it didn’t take long for the first patients to begin trickling in. The facility was fully staffed with physicians, nurses, paramedics, technologists and support staff.
“We’ve let all of the dispatch centers know that we’re up and running,” said Fred Potter, Paramedic, EMSI, Backus EMS Coordinator. “American Ambulance crews are staged in the area and ready to respond.”
Response from the EMS community has been very positive, Mr. Potter said. The opening of this freestanding facility, the first of its kind in eastern Connecticut, brings much-needed emergency care to the region 24-7, which officials believe will reduce turn-around times for EMS providers in the field.
“We’re all very excited about today’s opening,” said Nathan Siegel, MD, Medical Director of the center, which also includes Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Services. “Staff was here late on Friday, preparing and setting up for patients. We’re very eager to serve the community.”
From the new ultrasound machines to the GlideScope intubation equipment, the facility is completely state-of-the-art and can handle patients on all care levels, Dr. Siegel said.
“This ED was very much needed,” said Scott Blais, EMT and ED Technician. “Prior to our grand opening, there was a 15-20 minute transport times to healthcare facilities – sometimes even more. We’re helping fill a void in the community.”
An EMT for 10 years and resident of Wauregan, Mr. Blais applied for an ED Technician position at April’s job fair.
“Through my many years in EMS, I’ve gotten to know much of the ED staff at Backus,” said Mr. Blais. “I really like this group and patient care here is second to none.”
Paramedic Jeanna Zavistoski is also part of the new Plainfield team. Born and raised in the area, Ms. Zavistoski has been employed by Backus for nine years and accepted a transfer to be closer to her hometown of Sterling.
“There is nothing better than doing what you love where you live,” said Ms. Zavistoski. “I love this community.”
A registered nurse for 31 years, Karen Sanders of Canterbury began her career at Backus seven months ago and also accepted a transfer to Plainfield.
“It’s so nice to be able to work in your community,” said Ms. Sanders. “I’m so fortunate to work with this group of people. We’ve already started developing a camaraderie, and look forward to serving our patients.”
As the ED staff geared up to serve emergency patients, DI and lab personnel also worked behind the scenes to prepare for the Plainfield opening.
Only two hours into the day, DI had already performed half a dozen diagnostic tests.
Jeff Martin, Charge X-ray Technician, transferred to Plainfield from the Backus Outpatient Care Center.
A resident of Plainfield, Mr. Martin said, “So far, patients have commented on the center’s convenience. It’s a beautiful facility offering a full complement of diagnostic services. Backus did a great job of planning the project – it’s a great addition to the town.”