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The Naples, Italy, military community's new hospital and dental clinic opened Monday. The 180,000-square-foot facility, on the family support site 15 miles north of the naval support activity, replaces a 37-year-old hospital in Agnano, about 30 miles from the majority of Navy housing.
The Naples, Italy, military community's new hospital and dental clinic opened Monday. The 180,000-square-foot facility, on the family support site 15 miles north of the naval support activity, replaces a 37-year-old hospital in Agnano, about 30 miles from the majority of Navy housing. (Jason Chudy / S&S)

GRICIGNANO, Italy — After delays for everything from archaeological finds to equipment safety concerns, the Naples military community finally has a new $42 million hospital and dental clinic.

The 180,000-square-foot facility opened Monday on the family support complex, a month after its ribbon cutting and six months after its first “planned” opening.

But if patient and staff reaction on their first day was any indication, the prognosis for success is good.

“This is Mecca,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Amber Sullivan of Mesa, Ariz., said of the four operating rooms and two minor procedure rooms where she works as a surgical technician.

Everything in the facility seems top of the line, including the building’s user-friendly layout, new equipment and the staff’s attitude.

“The skill has always been there,” said Chief Petty Officer Mike Harper, senior enlisted leader for the directorate of branch clinics. “Now you’ve got the skills and equipment. It’s a win-win for patients.”

John Parker, a Navy steward during World War II, was the hospital’s first patient.

“It’s a lot better than the older one,” he said in a soft voice from a wheelchair in his room. Natural light from outside the building mixed with an artificial glow from windows facing the nurses’ station, making the room seem unnaturally large.

“This is artistically and architecturally pleasing,” said the hospital commander Capt. Kathleen O’Farrell, explaining her feelings about walking into the brand-new facility that morning.

“I had so much pride in how beautiful it looked.”

Prints of paintings hang on nearly every open wall. Each large open space has some sort of artwork, from brightly colored banners to fabric butterflies.

Even the coffee shop in the patient waiting room is special. Called the Roman Well Cafe after an actual Roman-era well found during the building’s construction, it sits in the center of the patient waiting area on the middle of the facility’s three floors. The well can be seen under large glass floor panels in one of the hospital hallways.

Above the cafe, a high glass ceiling nearly two stories above lights the reception desks of the majority of the hospital’s clinics.

The facility was designed so that patients with routine medical appointments, prescriptions to be filled or in need of x-rays come to this floor. The dental clinic is also here, just inside the building’s front door.

Patients needing surgery head up to the top floor, which is also where the recovery rooms are.

“It doesn’t look like a hospital,” said Chief Petty Officer Jose Jones, who had an orthopedic appointment. “It’s too modern. The staff even seems happier, so that helps the patients. Everybody's smiling, seemingly happy to be here.”

Staff members agreed with the assessment.

“This is the nicest hospital I’ve ever been in. It’s a 100 percent improvement,” said 15-year Navy veteran Dr. (Lt. Cmdr.) Dave Congdon.

“The facility is fabulous … the staff is fantastic. Now they have a great building to go with it.”

Getting in touch

With their new move, Naval Hospital Naples and the Naval Dental Clinic have new telephone numbers. Their main numbers are listed below.

Naval Hospital:

Information Desk/Control Center: 629-6155 or 629-6156

Emergency Room: 629-6150

Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Audiology, Nutrition Management and Health Promotions appointments: 629-6272 or 629-6273

Family Practice Nurse Information Line: 629-6255

Radiology: 629-6168

Physical Therapy: 629-6183

Laboratory: 629-6191

Ophthalmology: 629-6386

OB/GYN: 629-6404

MSU/Inpatient Ward: 629-6471 or 629-6472

Pharmacy: 629-6225

Mental Health: 629-6304

Surgery Clinic: 629-6400

DentalAppointments: 629-6007 or 629-6008

All numbers are DSN. For commercial, call 39-081-811 and the last four numbers. In Italy, drop 39.

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