Community Hospital unveils new tower

2014-06-05T20:15:00Z 2014-07-30T12:54:20Z Community Hospital unveils new towerVanessa Renderman, (219) 933-3244

MUNSTER | From the north-facing waiting rooms on each floor of the new tower at Community Hospital, there's a view of the Chicago skyline.  

But, it's what's inside the addition that hospital officials are bragging about most.

The $34 million expansion, called Parkview Tower, includes expanded and updated services for its intermediate care unit, mother/baby unit, neonatal intensive care unit, and labor and delivery unit. An open house for invited guests took place Thursday, with CEO Don Fesko unveiling the new floors. 

"Ten years ago, we made a promise to modernize our campus to better serve our community," he said. "I am so confident that this tower will be received well by everybody."

The public is invited to tour the addition during an open house from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the hospital, 901 MacArthur Blvd. Among the highlights is an autograph session at 1 p.m. with Chicago Bears player Charles "Peanut" Tillman.

The third floor, an intermediate care unit featuring 32 private rooms, will begin operating July 1. The upper three floors will open July 8.

Community's first obstetrics unit opened in 1979, with its neonatal intensive care unit opening three years later, Fesko said.

"The hospital quickly became — and still is — the busiest facility in Lake County for delivering babies and taking care of premature infants," he said. 

The fourth floor is the mother/baby unit, which includes 25 private rooms, along with a nursery and baby spa.

The fifth floor is the neonatal intensive care unit, staffed 24/7 by a medical team from the University of Chicago, who help care for up to 32 sick babies. Community Hospital has a partnership with the University of Chicago.

The sixth floor is labor and delivery, with 12 private suites and two surgical suites for C-sections.

"Our big push with this whole expansion is to keep mother and baby together as much as possible," said neonatal nurse manager Michelle Cherry, describing the layout of the floor and amenities.

Employee input was sought in the design, she said.

Patrice O'Neill, a nurse in labor and delivery, demonstrated how all of the necessary birthing equipment is in each labor, delivery and recovery room, but tucked out of sight until needed.

The picture above the bed moves to reveal equipment. A mirror folds down from the ceiling. A bassinet slides open from what appeared to be a closet. A set of table and chairs folds into a twin size bed.

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