The eagerly anticipated Open House for the Boulevard South Addition at Union Hospital attracted some 3,000 people. On Sunday, April 27, the public toured the 50,000 sq. ft. addition to Union Hospital, including the Cardiopulmonary and Vascular Centers on the first floor, the inpatient medical rooms on the second floor and the inpatient surgical rooms on the third floor.
Carey Gardner, Director of Development and Community Relations, says the opening of the new addition is welcomed by everybody at Union Hospital.
?It?s hard to say who is happier about the opening of the Boulevard South Addition, the Cardiopulmonary and Vascular staff, Nursing staff, or Medical staff. It?s the answer to a great many needs.?
Those needs have become increasingly important in recent years. Gardner says that more patient rooms are needed to resolve a chronic shortage of beds at Union Hospital. Inpatient admissions are up 32 percent over the past five years and Gardner says that the hospital is frequently filled to near capacity. That trend was recognized by the hospital when planning first began.
?Three years ago when the new addition was being discussed, we?d planned on adding 25 or 30 additional beds on the second floor only. The more we discussed it with our physicians and nursing staff, the decision was made to add even more inpatient beds to the third floor of the addition to better meet future needs.?
Medical inpatients will move into their new 2nd floor rooms on Tuesday, May 13. Surgical inpatients will move into their new 3rd floor rooms on Tuesday, May 20. Existing patient rooms will be given a light renovation where needed and sprinklers added during the summer months. Later in the year, all the inpatient rooms in all parts of the hospital will be ready for use. Gardner says the total inpatient bed capacity will increase from 120 to 165 beds.
The first floor of the Boulevard South Addition provides space for a new Cardiopulmonary Center and Vascular Center. Those departments moved late in March and began seeing patients in the new addition right away.
Cardiopulmonary and Vascular diagnostic testing has been among the fastest growing of the hospital?s outpatient services.
?The new space on the first floor of the addition provides the facilities we need to better serve our patients and room to continue to grow and add new technology well into the future.?
Part of the Boulevard South Addition project is a new Pain Management Center located next to the interior entrance to the new addition. Gardner says that project is still under construction and will be finished later this year.
In all, the Boulevard South Project and related work carries a price tag of $18 million. The majority of that money was raised through the sale of hospital bonds several years ago to be paid off in the coming years by revenue from patient care services. Gardner says community support for the project has been very generous with $1.5 million in individual and foundation grants to the hospital.
?Sunday?s Open House enabled visitors to see the inside of the new building they?ve been watching rise in front of the hospital for the past two years
During the Open House, visitors were invited to leave a message to be included in a time capsule that will be placed near the entrance to the Boulevard South Addition. The contents of the 1950 time capsule, uncovered at the time of the demolition of the old main entrance to the hospital in 2001, were displayed at the Open House.