Building projects under way at local hospitals

Monday, July 18, 2005

While some multi-million modernization projects have recently been completed at Saint Francis Medical Center and Southeast Missouri Hospital, other ventures are in development.

At Southeast, the hospital's new medical office building, being built along Broadway, is scheduled to open this fall. Vice president Pat Bira said the building is almost completely leased. In addition to physicians' offices, the building will house patient-convenient ancillary services such as outpatient MRI, radiology and a retail pharmacy.

Bira said the lobby of the new facility will be named in memory of the late Charles Hutson, a long-time member and a past chairman of Southeast's Board of Trustees.

"Never has there been a more active time in the history of Southeast for new construction, renovation and redesign," said Bira, adding that a $16 million, three-year, bed modernization project is now complete. "The project included construction of two new inpatient floors that added nearly 40 new patient beds, and a sweeping redesign of existing nursing units."

In Southeast's Clinical Services building, an expansion slated for completion in mid-October will increase the number of surgical operation suites from 14 to 18. Also, the hospital's Sleep Lab will double in size when it moves into new quarters on the third floor of the building. Bira said additional construction on the ground floor will add 3,000 square feet to the emergency services department.

An expansion that will triple the size of the neurophysiology department should be complete by late October.

"Southeast's in-house pharmacy will also undergo renovation and expansion," said Bira.

At Saint Francis Medical Center, the hospital is halfway through its five-year, four-phase, $48 million master facilities expansion plan. Remaining projects include laboratory renovation, radiology expansion and relocation, enlarging surgical services and constructing a new ICU waiting room.

Trevor Sumner, account services coordinator, said a significant part of the expansion plan is the Saint Francis Registration Center, which centralizes nearly all outpatient services such as same-day services, pre-admission testing, G.I. lab registration, Heart Institute registration, outpatient laboratory services, neurophysiology and Wound Healing Center registration.

"The newly constructed space also provides 28 private pre- and post-operative patient rooms," said Sumner. "The rooms have all the comforts of home such as individual televisions, recliners, privacy doors and extra space for families."

Sumner said Saint Francis is finalizing its Health and Wellness Center, a four-story, 134,000-square-foot facility that opened last September. The center is a medically-integrated fitness and wellness center that includes a fitness and workout area, doctors offices, a pharmacy and education space. Cape Care for Women completed its relocation to the center June 20.

Saint Francis is involved in a joint venture with Landmark Holdings of Missouri LLC to develop Landmark Hospital, a 30-bed, long-term, acute-care facility. Sumner said work has begun on the building's foundation on the west side of Mount Auburn Road near the existing medical center.

PICS -- Saint Francis Medical Center, left, is halfway through its five-year, four-phase, $48 million master facilities expansion plan. At right, Southeast Missouri Hospital's new medical office building is being built along Broadway and is scheduled to open this fall.

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