Crouse Hospital breaks ground on surgical center

Crouse Hospital's recent groundbreaking ceremony officially kicked off the building phase of the new Chris J. and Marshia K. Witting Surgical Center. The $34 million-dollar project will be constructed in phases, with a projected opening in spring 2011.

The 90,000 square feet surgical center is being built on the site of the Memorial Building parking circle. The facility will include inpatient surgical services, as well as the hospital's outpatient surgical program that is now located in the Physicians Office Building.

Consider that the hospital's inpatient Operating Room (OR) is nearly 25 years old, and that a lot has evolved with technology over that time period. So, the project calls for contemporary design improvements including enlarged surgical rooms (14 inpatient; four outpatient) to accommodate the latest advances in technology, as well as additional space for support.

In keeping with a new Syracuse tradition, the project will incorporate a number of "green" infrastructure features including high-efficiency motors, motion detectors for lighting, high-efficiency light ballast and low consumption plumbing fixtures.

Who are the Wittings?

A former president and CEO of Crouse-Hinds Co., Chris Witting served on the Crouse Hospital board for nearly 20 years. His widow, Marshia Witting, a former Crouse-Hinds manager and community volunteer, joined him in supporting numerous local charitable causes in significant but quiet ways. For more than 30 years, the Crouse organization has been one of those causes.

"My husband lived half of his life here -- he strongly believed in giving back to the community and did all his life, but always anonymously, so when Crouse came to me the decision was very easy and also very hard -- obviously it couldn't be called the Anonymous Surgical Center.

"A perfect match -- he really believed in that hospital -- he thought it was the best in the area," Marshia Witting said.

She has spent most of her life in Syracuse and plans to keep it her home. She wants to continue the work of her late husband who passed in December of 2005. Beyond helping the excellent surgeons and nurses that already work at Crouse, Marshia's thought was to help continue to attract the best in the field to the hospital they both so admired.

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