St. Ann's will break ground on $110 million expansion|
St. Ann's will break ground on $110 million expansion
An architect's rendering shows the planned south-facing main entry at Mount Carmel St. Ann's. The new entrance will be one feature of a $110 million expansion, which also will include a 60-bed tower, expanded cardiovascular hospital facilities, tripled food service and cafeteria space and a parking garage.
By HOPE JAMIESON
Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital will break ground Thursday, June 30 on a $110 million expansion project.
The "ground-blessing ceremony" was two years in the making for the hospital and the city of Westerville, and is a tradition for the faith-based organization.
"We take very seriously the opportunity to ask God's blessing for all the people constructing and supporting the project, and most importantly for the patients that will benefit from it," said Janet Meeks, president and chief operating officer of Mount Carmel St. Ann's.
The expansion, which is the largest single construction project to date for Mount Carmel, will feature a new patient tower with 60 additional in-patient beds, expanded health-care services, a new hospital grand entrance facing south, expanded kitchen and dining facilities and a parking garage.
Meeks said this is the right time for an expansion because the hospital is becoming a magnet for patients, physicians and staff and needs more capacity.
The population St. Ann's serves is growing quickly and it is important to become a regional medical center in order to continue serving the community, she said.
Health-care services being expanded include cardiovascular care, which will include open heart surgery, as well as vascular care, neurology and stroke care, maternal medicine and women's health, spine care, orthopedics care and cancer care featuring Central Ohio's only CyberKnife technology, which is used for targeted, less-invasive treatment of certain tumors.
"St. Ann's is an economic anchor for our community," said Jason Bechtold, economic development administrator for the city of Westerville.
According to hospital representatives, the expansion will create 200 full-time equivalent jobs, including more nurses, coordinators, emergency room staff and a full range of other employees. On June 14, the hospital welcomed 31 new staff members.
"As they continue to expand, it will be a major benefit for the city of Westerville," Bechtold said.
Through an employee contest, the expansion project has been named Project GRACE -- for Growing Regional Advanced Centers of Excellence, Meeks said.
One of the goals of Project GRACE is to continue the legacy of meeting community needs established by the Sisters of St. Francis of Stella Niagara when St. Ann's was first built in Columbus in 1908. The hospital originally opened as an infant asylum and soon became a place for women and maternity care. The Sisters changed the hospital services as needed and relocated in 1984 from Bryden Road to the current Westerville site at 500 S. Cleveland Ave.
Something that has not changed since the opening in 1984 is the kitchen and dining area that was built when the hospital had only 90 beds. With the expansion, the area will triple in size to offer room service to patients and a real dining experience, Meeks said.
Mount Carmel St. Ann's treated more than 19,000 in-patients and 73,000 emergency department patients last year.
"We have forecasted our growth to 2019 and we're going to need every bed we're building," Meeks said.
Project GRACE is estimated to be complete by late summer 2013.
"It is such a milestone for Mount Carmel while it is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year to have St. Ann's becoming a true destination hospital," Meeks said.
The ceremony will be held at noon June 30 on the Mount Carmel St. Ann's campus in Westerville.
"It is such a milestone for Mount Carmel while it is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year to have St. Ann's becoming a true destination hospital."