By Kevin Kelley
St. John Medical Center officially opened several new patient care areas April 15, including two new operating rooms and two new endoscopy suites.
Consisting of both new construction and renovations to existing structures, the new patient care areas mark the latest phase of a five-year, $100 million strategic plan of investment in the Center Ridge Road hospital. The facility is co-owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals. In 2009, University Hospitals assumed business operations of St. John Medical Center.
As at previous openings of modernized sections of the facility, the emphasis was on St. John’s Catholic roots. Retired Cleveland Catholic Bishop A. James Quinn led a prayer service and blessing of the new section, located at the western end of the facility, near the emergency department.
“I can tell you our employees are very proud and excited about these changes at the hospital,” said William A. Young Jr., St. John Medical Center president and CEO. “We can now provide the high-quality care we are known for in state-of-the-art facilities.”
Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, president and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System, has been associated with the Westlake hospital since before it opened. Although the renovations are cause for great celebration, she said, the real strength of the hospital is its people.
“It’s our staff, our employees and our medical staff that really are the reason why this is such a wonderful, special place,” she said.
The hospital’s new outpatient surgery area includes 24 private beds with flatscreen TVs. A post-anesthesia care unit consists of 15 private beds and two nursing stations. A 12-bed clinical decision unit, adjacent to the hospital’s emergency department, allows the medical staff additional time to evaluate a patient before deciding if he or she should be admitted or sent home.
About 37,000 square feet of the new patient care space is new construction, and about 25,000 square feet was existing space that was renovated.
In addition to the new patient care areas, St. John marked the opening of a new two-floor lobby area in which significant attention was paid to artwork and design. For example, the lobby staircase features 13 light fixtures, intended to resemble votive candles, that constantly change colors. According to Cassandra L. Johnson, director of construction for University Hospitals, 13 lights were installed to reflect the 14 Stations of the Cross, another reflection of the hospital’s Catholic identity.