State OKs $98 million expansion
Hazel Crest hospital will add 91,000 square feet, modernize 37,000 square feet
Advocate South Suburban Hospital has received approval from state regulators for a nearly $98 million expansion and modernization of the Hazel Crest hospital.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the project Oct. 30, and work will include adding nearly 91,000square feet and modernizing another 37,000 square feet, according to Advocate Aurora Health.
The entire project is expected to be completed by late 2021.
“This critical project will ensure that residents of Hazel Crest and the surrounding communities who depend on our hospital' s services will continue to receive the highest level of quality care possible,” said Rashard Johnson, Advocate South Suburban's president.
Johnson said Friday that the hospital hopes to break ground in
January on the project, which will be an extension of the hospital, 17800 Kedzie Ave., and offer the “latest and greatest technology.”
Calling it a “monumental project,” Johnson, who became South Suburban’s president in September, said that “our mission is to build a healthier community, and this project, without a doubt, enables us to do that.”
South Suburban will replace cramped, outdated operating rooms and significantly increase thenumber of recovery rooms available for surgical and cardiac catheterization procedures. It will also renovate space in the existing hospital.
It hopes to have the new surgical space ready for patients by the middle of 2021, and finish the rest of thework by late 2021.
The hospital now has nine operating rooms in 12,000 square feet of space, and that would more than double, to nearly 25,000, in the new building, although the number of operating rooms would be unchanged.
The number of cardiac catheterization rooms would increase to three from the current two, and the addition would have 50 recovery rooms for surgery and cardiac catheterization compared with the current 13.
Advocate, in its application filed inAugust with the state review board, said that current operating rooms were designed almost a half-century ago and are “too small and lack the technology required in this era.”
Seven of the nine current operating rooms are below the minimum industry standard of 600 square feet, with some rooms having less than 400 square feet, it said in its state application.
The smaller surgical suites inhibit the ability to schedule cases that require a larger operating room, such as for robotic procedures or orthopedic cases, which end up being delayed due to space constraints, Advocate said in its state application.
“The demand for these two large-sized rooms far exceeds capacity,” it said.
With the expansion and modernization, Advocate said that “providing the most up to date facilities for technologies and procedures will lead to faster diagnosis, treatment and recovery” for patients.
Modernization of existing surgical procedure areas will include five endoscopy and bronchoscopy rooms. Expansion of this service is needed in part due to an aging population that needs timely outpatient diagnostic and therapeutic care, Advocate said.
While the population of the hospital’s service area is expected to remain relatively unchanged, the number of residents ages 65 to 84 is expected to grow by almost 20 percent by 2023, the hospital operator told regulators.
South Suburban, through this project, “is preparing for the increased demand for health care that accompanies that change” in aging population, Advocate said.
Work also will include modernizing and expanding areas such as patient reception and registration, along with visitor spaces for peoplewaiting for someone who is in surgery, Advocate said.
Visitor waiting areas will be close to the operating rooms, and patients, as a result, will be “more comfortable knowing they have a friend or family member close, and the visitors know they are not in the way of the clinical team,” Advocate explained in its application.
Space in the existing building vacated as part of the expansion will be used for things such as medical staff and administration offices and educational classrooms, Advocate said. A resource center is planned that can be used by patients and their family members, as well as the public, where they can find materials related to health and healthy lifestyles, according to Advocate.
Advocate said that available cash will be used to pay for 51 percent of the project’s cost, with bonds covering the balance.
Johnson, who also serves as president of Advocate Trinity Hospital on Chicago’s Southeast Side, said the expansion and modernization represent a “substantial and critical piece” of South Suburban Hospital’s strategic master plan for improving health care in and aroundHazel Crest.
He noted that the hospital last month unveiled its renovated Women and Infants Center, with the $8.7 million project featuring 16 private rooms.
That strategic plan, Johnson said, has involved input from“medical leadership and (Advocate) corporate leadership, looking at the market and figuring out what is in the best interests of the patients and community we serve” in order to build the future of health care for our community.”
Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest has received state approval for a nearly $98 million expansion and modernization project.