MUNSTER | The Community Hospital announced Wednesday it will begin a two-year, $33 million expansion of its Munster campus.
Construction of a four-story addition to the Emergency Department Pavilion will start Monday. All hospital services will remain open during the multiphase project, according to a hospital news release.
The expansion will add private rooms, double the capacity of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), expand the main Surgical Services area and increase capacity for stroke and heart patients.
“Community Hospital is the busiest hospital in Lake County, and this latest expansion will help us to respond to the growth and demand for our services,” Community CEO Donald Fesko said in a statement.
The last major expansion at Community was three years ago, in a $40 million undertaking to build the new Emergency Department Pavilion and add private rooms on three floors.
With the upcoming expansion, the third floor of the new Emergency Department Pavilion will house 32 relocated private telemetry (Intermediate Care Unit) rooms — which feature heart monitoring and specialized equipment — that are located on the second floor of the hospital.
Neuroscience Intensive Care and Neuroscience Intermediate Care will expand to the vacated Intermediate Care Unit.
The expansion will help accommodate the growth in family services and specialty neonatology care sparked by a partnership between Community and University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. The partnership calls for critically ill babies in the NICU to be cared for by board-certified University of Chicago Medicine neonatalogists.
The plan is for the top three floors of the Emergency Department Pavilion to house the Family Birthing Center.
The fourth floor will include 25 private post-partum rooms and a newborn nursery. The fifth floor will have a 32-bed NICU and the sixth floor will have 12 private labor and delivery rooms, with two Caesarean section suites.
With the birthing center relocating, the second phase of the project will expand Surgical Services on the main floor. There will be four more surgical suites for robotic and advanced minimally invasive surgeries, four gastrointestinal procedure suites for bariatric and other procedures, seven pre-operative beds, four recovery beds and 27 same-day surgery beds.
The existing Cardiovascular Unit will move to the area vacated by the Labor and Delivery space on the first floor.
“Patients look to Community Hospital for the high-quality care it provides, for the expertise of its doctors and staff and its advanced technology,” Fesko said. “We also know that our patients want a hospital that can also cater to their needs for privacy and be able to deliver care as efficiently and as conveniently as possible. This project will not only create an expanded hospital on the outside, but a more patient-focused hospital on the inside,” he said.
The Community Hospital has 427 beds, more than 3,000 employees and 600 on the medical staff.