Brattleboro Memorial Hospital submitted a Certificate Of Need application to renovate and expand the emergency department and to move an upgraded MRI to the Richards Building. The application was sent to the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) on August 25.

The $7.7 million dollar project will modernize and expand the 30-year old emergency department. BMH has approximately 13,000 emergency room visits annually, the expansion will reduce wait times, improve patient privacy and meet current code and regulatory requirements.

The new emergency department will expand into the current gift shop area. The hospital’s current front entrance will extend outward to create a walk-in entrance for the emergency department that is separate from the current ambulance entrance. The gift shop will be moved to the opposite side of the lobby and will include a cafe.

“This project is critically important to the community and the hospital,” says hospital CEO, Steven R. Gordon, adding that the emergency room expansion was the top priority in the hospital’s master plan, approved by the Board in 2009. “Our staff does an excellent job, but the size and layout of the current emergency department makes efficient delivery of care impossible.

In conjunction with the emergency room expansion, The MRI equipment will be moved from the trailer near the emergency room’s ambulance dock to the space designed to permanently house it when the Richards Building was constructed. The hospital will also invest in upgrades to the current MRI equipment to provide sharper images and permit more interventional studies, officials say.

The project will require local site plan and Act 250 approval in addition to BISHCA’s approval of the Certificate of Need.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) has provided health care services for over a hundred years. A 61-bed community hospital located in Southeast Vermont, it serves a rural population of about 55,000 people in 22 towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The medical staff includes 137 board-certified physicians, both primary care and many specialists, and its 515 employees enjoy the help of over 150 active volunteers. BMH is accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s leading standards-setting and accrediting organization in health care.

CONTACT: Prudence MacKinney, VP of Physician and Business Development, 802-257-8214 or