BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — The Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) Foundation accepted a $25,000 donation from the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation last week. The contribution will help fund “Vision 2020,” the hospital’s largest project in more than 30 years. A hospital spokesperson said the funds will help enhance the emergency and cancer care services available to residents regionwide.

“Southwestern Vermont Health Care is more than a medical and health resource in southwestern Vermont,” said M & T Senior Vice President John A. Conlon, CFA, CFP. “It is part of the heart and soul of the community.”

The Vision 2020 project includes the renovation and expansion of the health system’s Emergency Department and the construction of an all-new regional Cancer Center. The new Kendall Emergency Department and Hoyt-Hunter Regional Cancer Center will impact care for residents of southern Vermont, northern Berkshire County, and eastern New York.

“Support from our local business community is so very meaningful as we attempt this major transformation of two of our most important services,” said SVHC’s President and CEO Thomas A. Dee, FACHE. “We are grateful for M&T’s contribution and their demonstrated commitment to the health of our communities.”

The newly expanded Kendall Emergency Department will nearly double the size of the current Emergency Department, which was designed to accommodate 14,000 patient visits a year but currently sees nearly 25,000 annually. The project will further enhance patient safety, infection prevention, and patient privacy.

Vertical treatment areas will allow for highly efficient treatment of low-acuity conditions. The project also includes an expansion to the Emergency Crisis Area for those experiencing mental health distress and increased telehealth connectivity with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

The new Hoyt-Hunter Regional Cancer Center will have double the number of exam and infusion rooms. “The design focuses on patient comfort in addition to clinical excellence,” concluded a spokesperson for the hospital in a press release.