The budget unveiled today by Governor Dan McKee invests $167.8 million in Eleanor Slater Hospital over the next seven years, providing money for a new medical facility, upgrades to existing buildings and the development of a long-awaited electronic medical records system. The State projects a current year (FY 2022) surplus of $618.4 million, and Governor McKee recommends transferring $210 million to the RI Capital Plan Fund to support much-needed improvements to Eleanor Slater Hospital and other state facilities.
“Eleanor Slater Hospital takes care of some of our state’s most vulnerable residents,” said Governor McKee. “It’s long past time to make meaningful investments that will provide higher quality care for the patients, better conditions for the staff, and tackle decades of deferred maintenance. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to get this done.”
“A recurring theme in this proposed budget is addressing deferred responsibilities from the past that we can no longer afford to ignore,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “Eleanor Slater Hospital is a prime example of this snowball effect. It makes perfect sense to use surplus dollars to chart a new culture at Eleanor Slater Hospital: one that prioritizes the needs of its patients, families, and workers.”
“The significance of these investments cannot be overstated,” said Richard Charest, Director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals and CEO of Eleanor Slater Hospital. “These projects will better position the hospital to carry out its mission to care for Rhode Islanders who require our services for long-term medical and psychiatric conditions, and they will help our staff as they perform this work. We are grateful for the Governor’s support.”
The largest single investment – $108.2 million – will fund a new medical facility on the Zambarano Campus, with more than 100 beds tailored to meet the needs of the patients already served at the facility, as well as for services with limited availability in the state and for specialized populations. The new structure will succeed the Beazley Building as the medical facility on the Zambarano Campus in Burrillville, providing a modern and cost-efficient facility at which the hospital will care for patients with long-term medical needs.
The budget also invests $14.3 million at the Burrillville campus for repairs and upgrades to buildings, equipment, and utilities. This multi-year project will ensure the reliability of infrastructure on the campus, including the water distribution, wastewater treatment, and sewer systems. A further $3.2 million funds the installation of a ventilator unit at the Beazley Building to better treat patients with specialized needs.
At Eleanor Slater’s Cranston campus, the Governor’s budget recommends $19.7 million from existing debt proceeds for life and safety improvements at the Regan building.
Finally, the Governor’s budget provides $22.4 million to develop an electronic medical records system for the hospital. The new system will replace the existing paper records system, improving patient care through more efficient capturing and tracking of patient data.
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