Building A Healthier North Shore

Our Plan

North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) and Partners HealthCare are moving forward to implement a $230 million plan that improves care and coordination across a wide spectrum of health services. This plan realigns practices and facilities to make high-quality care more effective and efficient and improves access to the community-based care that North Shore residents use most.

Key elements of the plan include:
  • Consolidating NSMC hospital-based medical, surgical and behavioral health services on one campus at Salem Hospital and expanding and improving that facility to serve the needs of the North Shore region. All inpatient services currently based at NSMC’s Union Hospital Campus will be consolidated at Salem Hospital once construction is complete in approximately three years.
  • Converting the former Spaulding Hospital North Shore, located on the campus of NSMC Salem Hospital, to a 120-bed Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health that will be directly aligned with Massachusetts General Hospital and add nearly 60 new beds to the region for psychiatry and behavioral health care.
  • Expanding community-based outpatient primary, specialty, urgent care and behavioral health services throughout the North Shore at North Shore Physicians Group (NSPG) offices, and in collaboration with the Lynn Community Health Center and North Shore Community Health, Inc.

The robust NSPG practice currently located on the Union Campus will remain in Lynn and will give residents and Union neighbors access to expanded outpatient primary, specialty and behavioral health services. NSMC remains fully committed to providing emergency care to communities in Lynn, Salem and throughout the region. In addition to the expanded Emergency Department in Salem, NSMC will continue to operate the current Emergency Department on the Union Campus over the transition of the next several years and is working with community leaders to ensure a long-term approach that meets the needs of Lynn.

Meeting a critical need

Our Plan for a Healthier North Shore also focuses on expanding services to help meet the overwhelming demand for addiction treatment, a priority shared by Governor Baker and communities across Massachusetts. The Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health will integrate addiction treatment with inpatient and outpatient psychiatry, mental health services and further development of community-based programs.

“The synergies created by bringing together the best of academic and community care will help meet the region’s needs at a time when these critical services are in great demand,” says Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, M.D., chief of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Improvements on the Salem Campus

To accommodate the consolidation of medical, surgical and behavioral health services, NSMC will build a new Emergency Department and two additional family-centered inpatient units at NSMC Salem Hospital. The former Spaulding Hospital North Shore will be renovated to accommodate expanded behavioral health services for children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

Key access areas such as the hospital’s main entrance and access areas will also be reconfigured and renovated to improve way finding and provide a more welcoming and efficient patient experience. “Consolidating services is vital to enhancing quality of care and improving the patient experience,” says Mitchell S. Rein, M.D., NSMC Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “With a single hospital, we can provide deeper specialization, better coordination of care and enhanced safety.

Robust primary, specialty and urgent care to expand in Lynn

As care increasingly shifts from inpatient to outpatient settings and the role of primary care expands, NSMC will be expanding its North Shore Physicians Group (NSPG) practices in Lynn. and other communities. These expanded services will include primary, specialty and urgent care and associated outpatient services that will serve a wide range of health care needs of local residents. NSMC has also engaged with Lynn city officials and the Lynn community to discuss the best options for reuse.of the Union Hospital campus site after consolidation is complete.

Continued access to Emergency Care in Lynn

While construction to consolidate Salem and Union hospital services continues over the next  several years, Union Hospital in Lynn will remain open and operational, including the Union Emergency Department. Meanwhile, NSMC is working with Lynn community leaders and emergency personnel to determine the best model to ensure that Lynn residents continue to have access to emergency care in the city over the longer term.

Continued investment in community health

The plan includes continued investment in community health that builds on years of collaboration with community organizations, the Lynn Community Health Center and the North Shore Community Health, Inc. to increase access to a spectrum of care. In addition to providing support for vulnerable populations, NSMC will be collaborating to address obesity, addiction and teen pregnancy in local communities.

More integrated care improves quality, coordination

Integral to the plan are new models of care at NSMC that improve coordination, efficiency and safety. One example is the Integrated Care Management Program that is helping NSMC to manage its most complex patients, by using early intervention and better care coordination to prevent admissions and unnecessary emergency room visits. And NSMC is investing in Partners eCare, the electronic healthcare system that enables all caregivers in the Partners system to access their patients’ health information at any time, enhancing coordination, quality and safety.

By making the best use of health care resources available in the region to the greatest benefit of patients in the area, we are advancing the goals of population health management,” says Norton. "Furthermore, by caring for patients within a coordinated system, we can monitor the quality of their care more effectively and avoid repetitive procedures, such as tests and imaging that can happen when a patient sees a number of disconnected providers."

Mission remains unchanged

Our mission to provide the finest care to the patients of greater Lynn, Salem and throughout the North Shore will never change," says Norton. "We believe that this consolidation coupled with the investments in primary, urgent, and specialty care, behavioral health services, care coordination and community health resources is in the best long-term interests of the communities we serve. In short, we will offer increased access, better care, and lower costs."

“We are confident that this plan succeeds in delivering the highest quality care to our patients in a comprehensive and thoughtful way. In the new heath care environment, this plan will help us better coordinate care, improve quality and more effectively contribute to the overall health of our communities.”

Robert G. Norton
NSMC President
June 2015