Bristol Hospital places time capsule in new Emergency Center addition

Published on Wednesday, 13 October 2021 15:22


BRISTOL – The common theme of a time capsule that will be placed in Bristol Hospital’s new Emergency Center addition was the covid-19 pandemic.

Items placed in the capsule by hospital officials on Wednesday, outside the ED on Newell Road, included a covid-19 vaccine vial and an air purifying respirator mask. In 50 years, when the capsule is opened, the items will show just how many challenges doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff faced during the pandemic, said Kurt Barwis, Bristol Health president and CEO.

“I’m beyond proud to be a part of this organization,” Barwis said.

Barwis, who called the idea for the time capsule “incredible,” said it will be placed in an elevator shaft in the Emergency Department addition. A nearby plaque will let others know the capsule is there.

Andrew Lim, medical director of Emergency Medicine at Bristol Health, took a slightly different approach to the items he opted to place in the capsule. They included a Pokemon card, a nerf dart and a LEGO nurse figurine.

Lim joked that putting these items somewhere where they cannot be accessed was a lesson to his children for leaving toys around the house.

“Hopefully 50 years from now they’ll learn that lesson,” he said.

Lim, on a more serious note, said that the items represented what children experienced during the pandemic.

“For the kids it meant lockdown,” Lim said. “Lockdown in the home, with the toys.”

The time capsule will be kept in a 12,500-square-foot addition that sits adjacent to the hospital’s current Emergency Department. Once the addition is complete, Roche said, staff from the existing ED in December are expected to move into the new space. The addition will serve as the sole emergency area while the old space is renovated for five to six months. The addition and renovations are part of a multi-phase, $15 million project to the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Mary Lynn Gagnon, executive director of the Bristol Health Foundation, said that about $5.5 million has been raised to go toward the project. Officials are hoping to hit the $6 million mark.

The items Gagnon and her team chose to place in the capsule included a save the date card for the foundation’s three fundraising events and a brochure for the ED fundraiser campaign.

Gagnon said hospital officials will celebrate the grand opening of the Emergency Department addition on Dec. 16, which will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new facility. This falls in line with the hospital’s 100th anniversary.

Ironically, Gagnon said, Bristol Hospital was established in December 1921 as a direct result of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 13 October 2021 15:22. Updated: Wednesday, 13 October 2021 15:24.