Taking Local Healthcare To New Heights, Saint Francis Launches New Tower

(Hartford, Conn. February 18, 2011) – Three years of construction on a project delivered on time and on budget have culminated in today’s official grand opening and dedication of Saint Francis’ newest building, the John T. O’Connell Tower.

Encompassing 318,000 square feet of floor space, the $184 million building contains a wide range of innovations and facilities designed to provide world-class, state-of-the art medical care to the community.

“This is a unique facility that is unmatched in its sophistication in this region.  We have designed this new Tower to accommodate the very latest innovations in “green” construction, medical technology advancements and cutting-edge telecommunications, all combined with aesthetics that create a comforting and healing ambiance,” said Christopher M. Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer. 

The Tower includes an expanded Emergency Department and a new rooftop helipad for LIFE STAR landings.

“We have doubled the floor space of our present Emergency Department, with 70 treatment bays and four trauma/critical care bays designed to treat the most critically ill and injured patients with leading-edge technology,” noted C. Steven Wolf, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine.  “These facilities will allow us to treat patients rapidly, comfortably, and with the most advanced amenities.”

The Tower also includes 17 state-of-the-art replacement operating rooms, plus hybrid and cardiac rooms as well as dedicated operating and private patient care rooms for the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI).

“The replacement patient rooms in the Tower are private rooms intended to promote healing in a higher-quality, less stressful atmosphere,” explained Rolf W. Knoll, M.D., Saint Francis’ Chief Medical Officer.  “These rooms are also larger than previous patient rooms to accommodate contemporary medical equipment,” added Dr. Knoll.

Overall the facility includes: 


  • 70 ED treatment areas with 13 sheltered ambulance bays
  • 19 new replacement operating rooms, including 2 state-of-the-art “hybrid” ORs
  • 72 replacement patient rooms, all private
  • 6 dedicated orthopedic operating rooms and 63 replacement inpatient orthopedic beds for the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI)
  • A new rooftop helipad for LIFE STAR landings

Occupancy of the Tower will begin in phases starting in March, with the facility scheduled to be fully operational by June.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.