Mount Carmel adding heart center at St. Ann's|
Mount Carmel adding heart center at St. Ann’s
By Suzanne Hoholik
Today, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s joins the lucrative heart war in central Ohio.
The Westerville hospital breaks ground on a $110 million heart center.
The project will add 60 beds, space for four new operating rooms for open-heart and other surgeries, and a parking garage.
The new center joins heart programs at practically every hospital in the region, with the two largest being the Ross Heart Hospital at Ohio State University Medical Center and the McConnell Heart Hospital at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
Ohio State and OhioHealth have pumped millions of dollars into cardiac care.
The McConnell has 185 heart beds, the William Craner Heart Center at Grant Medical Center has 85 and Doctors Hospital has 50. The Ross has 150 beds. Mount Carmel also has heart programs at its hospitals on the East and West sides.
Claus von Zychlin, chief executive of Mount Carmel Health System, said growth in the Westerville area along with demand for services justifies expanding.
The project, which is expected to create 200 jobs, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2013.
Having a cardiac center with open-heart surgery will mean patients no longer must be transferred to other local hospitals.
“That will be a big advantage to the community, especially to the east side of Delaware County, in providing heart care to patients,” said Chief Rob Farmer of Delaware County Emergency Medical Services.
Care for the heart is lucrative. Some of the highest insurance payments come from cardiac procedures.
Along with the heart center, the St. Ann’s project also expands other services including obstetrics, orthopedics and stroke care to deal with new technology.
“What vascular services they do there today versus what they did five years ago is different,” von Zychlin said. “We’re doing more-complex services there.”
The hospital also will get a new look. The main entrance will move from Cleveland Avenue to the south side of the complex. At rush hours, traffic trying to turn south onto Cleveland Avenue often clogs parking lots, von Zychlin said.
The expansion will be funded through the sale of bonds, internal cash and fundraising, he said.
Despite the sluggish economy, hospital projects have slowed only slightly in recent years. Several hospital systems are in the middle of construction projects, including expansions costing $1.1 billion at OSU and $840 million at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
That is partly because of constantly changing medical technology that requires more and more space. That’s good news for construction companies.
“Health-care technology always has new requirements for patient care, and it’s a good business for construction companies, because once you build a bank, you don’t need upgrades,” said Tiffany Himmelreich, spokeswoman for the Ohio Hospital Association.