State OKs $98 mil­lion ex­pan­sion

Hazel Crest hospi­tal will add 91,000 square feet, mod­ern­ize 37,000 square feet

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Nolan

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 HEALTH CARE

Ad­vo­cate South Sub­ur­ban Hospi­tal in Hazel Crest has re­ceived state ap­proval for a nearly $98 mil­lion ex­pan­sion and mod­ern­iza­tion project.

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