Wente's accomplishments at Southeast Missouri Hospital

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The Southeast Missouri Hospital School of Nursing is established, offering an LPN to RN diploma program, the first of its kind in Missouri. Today, the College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree, an Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology, a Certificate in Medical Technology and a Certificate in Surgical Technology. To date, 635 students have graduated from the college, now located on the second and third floors of the Bank of America building on William Street, which the Hospital acquired in 2005. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Wente serves as an advisory member of the College Board of Trustees.

With more people than ever receiving the hospital's services, Southeast embarks on its 12th major expansion program, completed in 1994. Keystone of the five-year, multi-stage program was the 105,000 square foot Clinical Services Building housing emergency services, surgery, expanded radiology department, expanded cardiology, medical lab and pathology areas and a new 12-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit.


That Southeast is much more than just an institution is reaffirmed in 1992 with the reshaping of the Hospital's mission and the development of a statement of values. Under Wente's guidance and with input from the entire hospital family — employees, trustees, foundation board, medical staff, volunteers and auxilians — Southeast examined the principles upon which the hospital was founded and adopted a statement of values that reaffirms its commitment to the provision of health services, given with dignity and compassion, to the hospital serves.

Under Wente's guidance, a quality management program is implemented and a quality council, on which he has actively served, is organized.


The hospital's ambitious Clinical Service Building project is complete, increasing by 40 percent the 250,000 square feet Southeast had under roof at that time.

Southeast introduces a new component of its heart program, a Chest Pain Center dedicated to streamlining the care of patients who arrive at emergency with symptoms that could indicate an impending heart attack.


PT Associates becomes a part of Southeast's Rehabilitation Services.

To help ensure quality care for mothers and babies, Southeast implements a Mother-Baby Home Visit Program in seven southeast Missouri counties. As part of this program, a registered nurse from the hospital's OB or nursery areas visits mom and baby during the first few days at home, checking the progress of both and answering any questions parents may have.

Southeast assumes ownership of Main Street Fitness Center in Jackson and announces expanded fitness and educational offerings at the popular family fitness center.


Southeast's new lobby wing opens a new doorway to the future of healthcare for generations to come. The wing includes a patient registration area, medical records, quality management, meeting rooms, a renovated Harrison Room and Lacey's On the Hill, a full-service restaurant located on the lobby mezzanine and overlooking the new and stunning History of Medicine mural.

The Southeast Missouri Hospital Foundation Commemorative Brick Garden is dedicated. Today, nearly 900 inscribed bricks have been placed in honor or memory of individuals.


The Generations Family Resource Center opens, extending the hospital's long-standing emphasis on family-focused care into the community in a new and innovative way. Generations' catalog of services includes a large video and print library; no-cost Web access for health-related issues; wellness screenings and clinics, classes and seminars on health and healthy lifestyle topics.

Demand for intensive care beds results in an addition of seven ICU beds, bringing the total number of ICU beds to 21.

The redesign of the hospital's northwest exterior facade, gives the hospital a sleek, unified architectural appearance.


Southeast Outpatient Rehabilitation opens a new 15,000 square foot facility at 60 Doctors' Park.

Southeast implements its new Hospitalist Services program. Under this new concept of care, adults and children who have no physician on staff and who need to be admitted have their care managed throughout their inpatient stay by a hospitalist.


Offering education and support for limited income, first-time parents is the focus of a new prenatal and early childhood nurse visitation program known as "Building Blocks." Southeast is one of two Missouri institutions to receive funding from the Missouri Department of Health for the program, a model for the state of Missouri.

The College of Nursing and Health Care Science reaffirms its commitment to helping provide healthcare education opportunities with a new Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program for individuals without prior healthcare experience. And, in partnership with Southeast Missouri State University, a new program leading to a B.D. degree in medical technology is introduced.


The hospital opens a sleep lab designed to provide evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for people with a number of common sleep disorders.

Plans are unveiled for a sweeping $4.3 million redesign of the Dennis B. Elrod, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology Center. The redesign features 15 private birthing suites, new Nursery and Neonatal Special Care Unit and more.

The Hospital's Regional Brain and Spine Center implements a sophisticated wireless image guided neuro navigational system, the most advanced in the region.


Southeast installs a new MRI unit with capabilities for the latest neuro and cardiovascular imaging as well as standard MRI capabilities.

The Hospital begins offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy, an important and exciting adjunctive therapy for a number of chronic conditions, including wound care.

The Southeast campus doubles in size with the acquisition of 25 acres on the present westernmost boundaries of Cape Girardeau. The land is set aside for future development.

Southeast opens its doors to the world with a completely redesigned Web site that includes Online Health@ to Z, a comprehensive health resource with more than 3,000 pages of information.

Outside the main hospital, the 21-acre campus takes on a more aesthetically appealing look. Two restaurants along Broadway on property owned by the Hospital are razed, creating an expansive view of Southeast and a landscaped lawn with a consistent contour.

Inside, Southeast's Regional Brain and Spine Center opens a new 17-bed Inpatient Rehab Unit to provide care for patients recovering from strokes, neurological disorders, orthopedic conditions and trauma.


Several thousand visitors tour the just-opened Elrod Obstetrics and Gynecology Center. By now, Southeast has welcomed more than 68,000 babies into the world.

Construction begins on two new medical/surgical floors atop the hospital's Harrison Annex, along with a renovation of five existing nursing unites. The project will increase the number of private patient rooms throughout the hospital from 30 to 107.

New services added in 2002 include a Pediatric Sleep Lab, a Southeast Missouri Hospital Outpatient Rehab satellite at Main Street Fitness and positron emisson tomography (PET), which provides valuable data in the diagnosis and staging of many cancers.

Plans are announced for a new linear accelerator for the Regional Cancer Center. The unit features IMRT, a new form of radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to plan and deliver more tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors than is possible with conventional radiation therapy.


Southeast becomes the first hospital in the community to implement digital imaging, which allows physicians to view radiology studies and reports securely, whenever and wherever they have access to a computer.

The board of trustees approves plans to construct a 75,000 square foot medical office building on the main hospital campus.


The excellence of Southeast's nursing staff — along with the dedication and expertise of the entire staff — earns the hospital the Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Award, the highest honor a hospital can receive for patient care. Southeast is the first hospital outside a metropolitan area to merit the award.

Southeast's commitment to making world class technology available close to home continues in 2004 as the hospital makes available NovalisR Shaped Beam Surgery. Novalis offers unsurpassed precision to treat benign and malignant tumors of the brain, prostate and other areas of the body as well as trigeminal neuralgia.

Southeast and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis partner to build a bridge to a brighter future for the children of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois.

Encouraging people to take more responsibility for their own health is the foundation of Southeast's new medically integrated fitness and rehab center, HealthPoint Plaza. The plaza includes HealthPoint Fitness in 39,000 square feet and HealthPoint Rehab in 18,000 square feet.


The College of Nursing and Health Sciences finds a spacious new location on the second and third floors of the Bank of America building on William Street near the main hospital campus.

Growth in the number of babies treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit results in more than doubling the beds in its Level III NICU, established as downstate Missouri's first in 1979.

Surgical and cardiac progressive patients begin experiencing the privacy and comfort of new patient rooms on the fourth and fifth floor addition to the east end of the hospital (construction began in 2002). Now, 67 percent of Southeast's patient rooms are private.


A key component of services for women is redefined to provide a unique approach to comprehensive breast care with the opening of the Breast Care and Diagnostic Center at 60 Doctors' Park. Physician care is provided by Cape Surgical Clinic, with Southeast providing diagnostic imaging that includes digital mammography.

An addition to the surgery department is completed, increasing the number of operating suites from 14 to 18. The $8.5 million project also includes additional square footage for the Cardiovascular Laboratory, Department of Radiology and Emergency Services.

The Hospital's sleep lab increases in size from two beds to four, with one room equipped for individuals with special needs.

Southeast is the third hospital in Missouri and first community hospital to offer robotic-assisted prostatectomies using the da Vinci Surgical System.

Southeast Medical Plaza on the main campus opens, providing convenient access to physician practices, a retail pharmacy and more.

Southeast's Chest Pain Center receives accreditation by the Society for Chest Pain Centers. The hospital also earns the gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers.

Southeast Missouri Hospital is recognized by the Excellence in Missouri Foundation for the hospital's success in devising a better way to share core measures data with hospital staff in patient care areas.


Cognizant that diabetes in Missouri is at near epidemic proportions, Southeast establishes a new Diabetes Center on the lower level of 60 Doctors' Park.

High utilization of the hospital's Level III NICU results in the addition of a monthly Neonatal Developement Clinic designed to offer follow-up for high risk and premature infants in their first two years.

Southeast's Regional Cancer Center continues to add to its arsenal to battle cancer with MammoSite high-dose radiation therapy for the treatment of some early stage breast cancers.

Southeast becomes the first hospital in the region to make available to patients and families high-speed wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) throughout the main Hospital, the Cancer Center, Southeast Medical Plaza and HealthPoint Plaza.

Stroke patients have access to exciting new technology with the availability of the NESS H200 for hands and the NESS L300 for legs. Both use functional electronic stimulation to stimulate and activate muscles affected by stroke or injury.

A 13,260 square foot expansion is completed at HealthPoint Fitness in Cape. The expansion, mandated by rapid growth in membership, includes a second swimming pool for lap swimming, additional exercise studios, expanded cycle studio, state-of-the-art free weight area and more.

Construction begins on a 3,000 square foot expansion to Emergency Services that will bring the total number of exam rooms to 22, and provide a larger outpatient registration area, expanded triage area and an ER Lab as well as an electronic medical records system.


Southeast partners with Southeast Missouri State University in the operation of Southeast Health on Wheels (S.H.O.W. Mobile), taking health care services to those who need them most within the Eighth congressional district.

Southeast consolidates its comprehensive heart services into the region's first Heart Hospital. New to the Heart Hospital roster of services are a fifth state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab and a chest pain observation unit.

In recognition of its ranking in the top 10 percent in the U.S. for cardiac surgery and five-star rating in that specialty, Southeast is one of two Missouri hospitals to receive the HealthGrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award for 2008.

A new pediatrics unit appealing to children from toddlers to teens opens on the first floor of the hospital. The new unit features private baths and flat screen TVs.

Because the Hospital's Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit is frequently at 100 percent-plus occupancy, work begins converted the vacated pediatrics unit to OB suites. When complete in 2009, the number of OB suites with top of the line amenities will expand from 19 to 25.

Soon, the hospital will open an electrophysiology lab which will help evaluate patients with heart arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. The Lab is one of a handful in the nation equipped with an EP Navigator.

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