New Building At Brigham And Women’s Could Revolutionize Health Care

BOSTON (CBS) – Last week WBZ reported on a new innovative building at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. That building opened its doors to patients Monday for the first time and Dr. Mallika Marshall was there to speak to one of those patients and his surgeons who helped make the building a reality.

Plymouth’s George Svajian will never forget that one high school football game more than 50 years ago that destroyed his knee.

“I went running down the sideline and as soon as put my leg down, the defensive back hit me right here and my knee felt like it went out,” recalls George.

After years of crippling pain, George had both knees replaced and just underwent spinal surgery earlier this year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

On Monday, he returned to see his surgeons at the new Building for Transformative Medicine, a state-of-the art facility which provides “one-stop” patient care.

Dr. James Kang, Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Brigham & Women's Hospital (WBZ-TV)

Dr. James Kang, Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (WBZ-TV)

“This building is like the human body,” says Dr. James Kang, Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at the Brigham. “At the very top of the building is our neurosurgical, neurology, psychiatry research arm. It’s like the head.”

That is followed by rheumatology and orthopedics down below, all housed in one location, which is a huge convenience for patients needing more than one specialist. That includes patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or stroke.

“It’s an enormous advantage over just about any other institution in this country,” says Dr. Kang.

Convenient parking, radiology on site, and larger spaces make navigating the new building a breeze.

“I think this is a great asset to help [patients] feel safe. That they’re in one spot,” says Patricia Svajian, George’s wife.

Dr. Tom Thornhill examines George Svajian's knee (WBZ-TV)

Dr. Tom Thornhill examines George Svajian’s knee (WBZ-TV)

The research labs are under the same roof.

“This is great for patient care, great for research, great for education,” says Dr. Kang.

Dr. Tom Thornhill, the former Chairman of Orthopedics at the Brigham, began conceiving this building years ago.

“This is a very exciting thing for my career,” says Dr. Thornhill.

George says he will probably need more orthopedic help in the future, but for now, this is how he’s feeling “terrific”.

“At my age someone tells me I look good, take it,” says George.

Located right near the main Brigham campus, the new building is eco-friendly and built with sustainability in mind.

It will also house one of the most powerful MRIs in the world.

More from Dr. Mallika Marshall

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