Nineteen months after ground was broken for the $184-million John T. O’Connell Tower, the final steel beam was hoisted into place on Oct. 29 for this 10-story structure that will house 318,000 square feet of care facilities for St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford. Auxiliary Bishop Christie A. Macaluso blessed the beam, which had been signed by hundreds of patients, staff, physicians and well-wishers. When the facility opens in 2011, it will house an enlarged emergency department, 19 new operating rooms, 36 private patient rooms, expanded facilities for the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute and a new rooftop helipad. Christopher M. Dadlez, president and CEO, said, “This building would not be possible without the generous help of Daniel and Nancy O’Connell,” who donated about $5 million to the project in memory of their son, John, for whom it is named. John O’Connell was treated for cancer at St. Francis prior to his death in 1996. Daniel O’Connell is a board member of the hospital and of St. Francis Foundation and St. Francis HealthCare Partners.
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