- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) - The University of Connecticut opened its new 11-floor, 38,000-square foot hospital tower.

Seventy patients on five floors, including those in intensive care, were moved Friday from their rooms inside the existing Connecticut Tower at John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington into the new University Tower.

The move went smoothly, said hospital chief executive Anne Diamond. The hospital used a pedestrian bridge that connects the two towers and had spotters stationed along the route to notify staff of any emergencies.

The $318 million addition, built with money from the state’s Bioscience Connecticut initiative, includes 169 private rooms, a state-of-the art surgical unit and a 40-bed emergency department.

The hospital’s oncology and cardiac step-down units also are located in the new tower.

Diamond said the patient rooms area all private, larger, include floor to ceiling windows and have couches that fold out into beds that can be used by family members of the patients.

The tower includes a new communication and video system, she said.

“Now the environment of care matches the wonderful clinical care that patients receive,” she said.

The hospital is keeping its labor and delivery, gynecology, prisoner-care unit and psychiatric inpatient unit in the old tower.

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