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Brigham and Women’s building approved

Public health officials on Wednesday approved Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s proposed $450 million research and outpatient center, deciding that the project will allow the hospital to better care for patients.

The Public Health Council placed conditions on the project. The Brigham must expand the availability of interpreter services for non-English speaking patients, particularly at satellite sites. The hospital also will consult community groups in deciding how to spend $3.8 million it has sent aside for public health projects such as preventing violence in Boston’s neighborhoods and improving the health of racial minorities.

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A group of taxpayers wrote a letter to the Department of Public Health asking that the Brigham be required to fund not just hospital-based programs that benefit the community but also those headed by community organizations. That group is now part of the planning process for projects.

In its application, the Brigham outlined its reasons for proposing the 10-story "Brigham Building of the Future" on a vacant Fenwood Road lot. It will house clinical and research operations for neuroscience, immunology, genomics, and regenerative medicine. The hospital said outpatient care for patients who need these services is spread out across the campus, making accessing care inconvenient and inefficient.

This is the final approval needed for the project, which the Brigham plans to complete in 2016.

Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at kowalczyk@globe.com.
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