Saratoga Hospital opens orthopedic center

Knee and hip replacements have more than doubled in recent years at Saratoga Hospital as baby boomer

Knee and hip replacements have more than doubled in recent years at Saratoga Hospital as baby boomers grow older but still want to remain active, hospital officials say.

In answer to the increased demand, the hospital on Church Street unveiled its new orthopedic center on Tuesday.

The $3.6 million project on the hospital’s third floor also included the renovation of the hospital’s nursing home wing on the second floor for a total of 22,000 square feet.

“The demand for orthopedic surgery has increased dramatically in recent years,” said hospital president and CEO Angelo Calbone.

“This was a perfect time and place for us to look at how we provide orthopedic care,” Calbone said to staffers and officials attending the grand opening of the sparkling new, 20-bed center.

Calbone praised the hospital staff and the orthopedic surgeons for collaborating on the design of the center, complete with its own rehabilitation and therapy rooms on the same floor.

Dr. Lawrence Fein, an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital and member of Orthopedic Associates of Saratoga, said the large increase in knee and hip replacements, along with other orthopedic work, is caused by the aging baby boomer population.

“Everybody wants to stay active and we have the technology to help people stay mobile,” Fein said. He said the volume of orthopedic surgeries at Saratoga Hospital over the past decade has increased greatly and will continue to climb.

The number of surgeons doing orthopedic surgery at the hospital has also increased from four 10 years ago to 12 today. Nine of these surgeons are also members of Orthopedic Associates of Saratoga, with locations in Saratoga Springs and Malta.

Sharman Lisieski, the hospital’s operating room director, said 15 years ago there would be on average five knee and hip operations at the hospital each week compared to between three and six such joint operations each day at present.

Ten of the 20 private orthopedic rooms will be open today while the other 10, which are under construction, will open by mid-December.

Calbone said in the past orthopedic patients were placed in smaller, semi-private rooms in another part of the hospital. In the new orthopedic center all the rooms are private, each with its own bathroom and shower, flat-screen television and wireless Internet service.

Each room has space to accommodate a family member to stay overnight, if they wish. There is a small bistro in the center that includes refreshments for visitors.

Kevin Ronayne, the hospital’s operations and facilities vice president, said Hyman Hayes Associates of Albany designed the new facility and AOW Associates of Albany was the construction manager and general contractor. AOW Associates has been involved with a variety of construction projects at the hospital over the years.

The third-floor space where the orthopedic center is now located was once part of the hospital’s nursing home wing. As nursing home patients left this third-floor wing, it was left open for the orthopedic center work. From planning stages to design and construction, the project took about three years to complete.

The new center is a specialized in-patient unit, staffed by a team of health care professionals who are trained in orthopedics. This team includes physicians, specialized nursing staff, nurse practitioners, rehabilitation experts, and care management professionals.

“We know that patients do better in a healing environment, with a team of professionals who work hand-in-hand to coordinate all aspects of care,” said surgeon Dr. William O’Connor, a member of Orthopedic Associates of Saratoga.

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