Copley Hospital renovation open for business

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MORRISVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) When you think of what doctors need to do to perform surgery, having enough space doesn't usually come to mind. But that was one of the key things missing at a Morrisville's Copley Hospital for decades -- until now.

"I had a fall at work in January on the ice -- slipped and fell on my right arm and tore my shoulder," said Mark Howrigan. And now 8 months later it's surgery day for the Fairfield man.

We met with him just minutes before he went into the OR at Copley Hospital to get his shoulder repaired.

"It's been great so far, actually my first time here, but it's awesome," Howrigan said. What he didn't know -- everything from the lobby to the operating room has been completely redone over the last year.

"We worked at OR's that were the smallest in the state and had all kinds of antiquated things that made it difficult in a crowded place," said Dr. John Macy, Howrigan's orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Macy is known across Vermont for his shoulder repairs and replacements and has been working at Copley for 17 years. "With today's technology, you really need it updated every several years, and our equipment is finally where it should be, and our space is where it should be," Dr. Macy said.

A photo shows what the OR looked like for the last 40 years. But after several years of fundraising and planning, last year crews broke ground.

"The outcomes was tremendous. I couldn't be happier," said Mike Babcock, one of the designers behind the transformation. He says the lobby and pre and post surgery rooms are brand new. But the OR was the biggest transformation. "Everything we're using -- including instrumentation -- we upgraded, to ensure we have the best that's on the market."

They say tools hanging from the ceiling, and more space to move around, helps them do their job better and give patients more peace of mind. "It adds a lot of value to how we take care of our patients," Babcock said.