The ribbon cutting of the new building is taking place on Saturday at 12pm sharp. As the week progresses, more and more people are getting the opportunity to tour the new 48,000 square foot, 3-story comprehensive primary care facility known as The New Community Health Center of Middletown. From my impression after the CHC staff New Building preview event on Tuesday, almost everyone who walked into the building was wide eyed in amazement as the tour progressed. With medical, dental, and behavioral health services all under one roof, the delivery of care will be more efficient, but many people are impressed with the unique features sprinkled throughout the building that are available to benefit both patients and employees. Some are easy to spot, and others take a moment to realize the distinctness of what truly makes this new building one of a kind. One of my favorite parts of the entire building is the interior design. With tons of amazing bright colors and modern furniture that go hand in hand, this health center provides all visitors with a feeling of uniqueness and exclusivity while receiving the quality of care they deserve.
The first feature that new visitors might spot right away directly on the floor in the main lobby is the labyrinth. Embedded in blue speckled marble on the floor lies a circular maze in front of the reception desk which encourages both children and adults to stop and take a look at its unique shape and pathway. Labyrinths have been used for ages and Native Americans used the labyrinth as a symbol that represents birth, rebirth and/or transition from one world to the next. There are many different purposes for a labyrinth and hopefully people will get a chance to walk through the foot maze and feel a little more at ease while they wait to see their provider.
Another great resource available to patients to make their visit run more smoothly is the check-in kiosks. When a person walks into the main floor of the health center, they have the option to speak with a receptionist or if there is a line or they are short on time, they are able to use the touch screen tablet to check into their appointment. Before they reach the floor their appointment is on, their provider will have been notified that they have arrived and they will be that much closer to seeing their patient.
If you have had a chance to look into the medical pods, you might have noticed the luxury examination tables covered in economically friendly leather; these tables can show a patient that they are not in a typical doctors office, and they will be taken care of at all times. On the second floor, children can help time spent waiting pass by a little quicker with the help of the Xbox video game console equipped with the Kinect which is a motion sensing input device which turns the player into the controller. To follow along with technology, the new building also has a new staff member named Kobi who happens to be a fully functioning robot.
The top of the building is the home of the “green roof”, featuring a rooftop garden with flowers, vegetables, fruits and beautiful views of the Arrigoni Bridge, downtown Middletown, and the Connecticut River. The roof top has a beautiful glass walled conference room and a walking path that covers the perimeter of the entire roof space. There is a Living Wall consisting of a vertical garden that is 100% self-sustainable and soil free. There are empty garden plots that will be used by the Macdonough Elementary School Gardening club to grow different produce and sell it at the farmers market. The roof top is definitely an amazing sight to see for employees, patients and the Middletown community. There are tons of remarkable features invested into the roof that will contribute towards making it such a focal point of Main Street and the city.
Another really important part of the building is the basement level facility designed specifically for CHC staff. This level provides employees with a place to exercise, meditate, dance, work, and relax. There is a huge bike rack for transportation storage, a gym space with private showers, places for breastfeeding, a meditation room, and much more! It definitely will give staff a place to prepare for the day, regroup during lunch, or an after work meditation session. In general, the entire facility’s primary feature is the way it was designed to accommodate the community. The building is filled with spaces for members of the community to host different types of classes from dance and wellness to cooking. The Community room/staff commons even has an aerial view camera above the stove in the kitchen for the purpose of community cooking demonstrations. It is a beautiful building that looks like it has been in that same location for 40 years. I only skimmed through some of the wonderful things that this new building has, but it is definitely a great experience seeing how incredible everything truly is at 675 Main Street.