Yale Daily News

The Yale New Haven Health System on Monday announced its purchase of a 117-acre piece of land in West Haven to be used as a new operations center and supplies distribution facility for the health care system.

Located at 600 Derby Ave., the site will become the Yale New Haven Health Regional Operations Center. The facility’s construction is intended to reduce costs and improve efficiency, according to Stephen Carbery, the vice president of facilities, design, construction and real estate for the New Haven-based health care system. The operations center is expected to open by June 2019.

The establishment of the new center will mean the health care system will benefit from larger discounts from its supply chain partner, Owens & Minor.

“The advantage of this facility is that we’ll be able to buy supplies in bulk, allowing for much larger discounts,” Carbery said. “We’ll be able to pass those savings on to our patients.”

To keep pace with the recent addition of several auxiliary clinical locations, Carbery explained, the health care system has been looking to expand its operational facilities. In addition to serving as a fulfillment and distribution center, the operations center will also be a space for other functions, such as clinical engineering, linen laundering and IT communications.

According to Edward O’Brien, the mayor of West Haven, the new facility will bring higher tax revenues and more jobs to the city.

Yale New Haven Health System began planning the project about three years ago, Carbery said. The project team researched distribution centers of other large health care systems around the country, studying how these centers operated and generated savings.

Finding the right piece of property took around a year, Carbery said. Restricting their search to a 25-mile radius around New Haven, the team ultimately selected 600 Derby Ave. in West Haven because of its proximity to both the main hospital campus and the highway systems, O’Brien told the News.

Located off Route 34, the new fulfillment and distribution center will allow for more efficient distribution of medical materials to the health care system’s hospital campuses, O’Brien said. He also noted that all the distribution vehicles will be on Route 34, so there will be little impact on local residents.

The building expansion will also allow the health system to add about 90 new jobs, Carbery said. According to O’Brien, these will include high-paying management jobs.

The team hopes to start construction — estimated to cost around $20 million — by the first quarter of 2018. To minimize the risk of setbacks in the process of receiving the necessary land approvals from West Haven, the health care system has already begun researching the extent and variety of construction allowed at the site, Carbery said.

O’Brien similarly said that the city doesn’t anticipate any challenges with zoning approvals or obtaining the construction permit.

“Yale New Haven Health has been wonderful to work with,” O’Brien said. “I think this will be a great partnership we’re going to have here in West Haven. Hopefully, this is the start of many more buildings and expansions.”

The building will include about 140,000 square feet of space, according to a Yale New Haven Health press release.

Amy Xiong | amy.xiong@yale.edu