Southcoast Hosts Beam-signing at Tobey

Southcoast Health hosts beam-signing event for expanded Tobey Emergency Department

WAREHAM, Mass. – Nurses, providers, employees, philanthropists, neighbors, and community leaders gathered at the Tobey Hospital Emergency Department construction site on Monday for a beam-signing ceremony commemorating its progress achieved so far. The expanded facility has an anticipated opening of January 2022, officials said.

“Our team – including Suffolk Construction and the many trades involved in this ambitious project – has made amazing progress on a state-of-the-art Emergency Department for the Greater Wareham area,” Southcoast President and CEO Keith Hovan told the assembled crowd of nearly one hundred. “We are getting closer every day, despite the pandemic and other challenges, thanks to significant and continued support from so many generous donors and advocates. Today’s beam-signing gives us a chance to recognize those who have helped us advance to this important stage.”

The expanded Tobey Hospital Emergency Department will quadruple the facility

The expanded Tobey Hospital Emergency Department will quadruple the facility to 25,000 square feet while increasing the number of treatment rooms from 15 to 27. Six of these new rooms will be specially designed to facilitate provider response to substance use disorders and mental health crises.

“Our patients deserve the highest quality care close to home while our doctors, nurses, and employees deserve the best infrastructure and work environment that enables such care,” said Louis Cabral, Chair of the Southcoast Health Board of Trustees. “It is a true honor and privilege to assist in making it happen.”

Last upgraded in 1987, the current Emergency Department was designed to accommodate about 15,000 patients annually, just half of the almost 30,000 patients Tobey Hospital currently treats each year, Southcoast officials said. The renovated Emergency Department will have the capability to accommodate up to 40,000 patients a year.

“With this expansion, Southcoast is ensuring a renewal of that trust and commitment for the Greater Wareham area,” said Don Giumetti, Vice Chair of the Southcoast Health Board of Trustees. “When someone is on their way to the emergency department, they need to know that the treatment and attention they’ll receive will give them the best chance at getting better. Their trust in the staff must be matched by their trust in the facility and the technology itself.”

Dr. Sarah Bernier agreed

“Speaking for the providers, nurses, and everyone who makes the Emergency Department run, we are ecstatic that this project is surging forward. The fact that it is happening during a pandemic is irrefutable proof of Southcoast’s commitment to this community, our patients and our staff,” said Bernier, a physician in the Tobey Emergency Department. “In this new facility, we will continue to provide exceptional care, giving our patients and visitors the privacy they deserve, while providing treatment to more people, which is wonderful.”

State Representative Susan Williams Gifford, Wareham Town Administrator Derek Sullivan, Wareham Historic District Commission Chair Robert Blair, and Wareham Select Chair Judith Whiteside were in attendance on Monday to sign the beam being placed to complete the facility’s steel structure, also signed by nurses, providers, staff, and donors.

“Tobey Hospital has been an important attribute to the town of Wareham for many years, and we are very grateful that they have recommitted to supporting health care throughout this expansion on this hospital campus,” Whiteside said.

For more on the Tobey Emergency Department expansion, visit