Pardon their dust: expansion continues at local hospitals

2014-02-20T06:00:00Z Pardon their dust: expansion continues at local hospitalsVanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

Expansion and renovation projects designed to make room for more patients and improve efficiency continue at local hospitals.

Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Dyer is in the midst of a project that will expand capabilities of its emergency, laboratory and surgical departments.

The work has a target completion date of Dec. 31, said Dan Ratko, hospital manager for project construction.

Work started in the fall. Recent extreme cold has been an obstacle but is not expected to delay the completion date.

"The weather has been a challenge," he said.

The hospital is remaining fully functional through the construction process, he said.

The project includes a 3,500-square-foot addition to the emergency department, a state-of-the-art trauma room that will double the size of the current facility, an isolation room for infectious patients and new, specialized patient exam rooms, according to the hospital.

The laboratory department improvements will increase efficiency. And, improvements to the surgery department include a 760-square-foot surgical suite and a new pre-admission testing space.

Construction also continues at Community Hospital in Munster, which is undergoing a multi-phase project to add more private rooms, expand the main surgical services area, double the capacity of the neonatal intensive care unit and provide advanced technology and accommodations to care for more stroke and heart patients.

Marie Forszt, director of marketing for the hospital, said construction of the new floors is on target to be completed in mid-May.

"We are scheduled to be operational and take patients the first week of July," she said. "Construction continues on the interior of the four additional floors of the new patient tower and is in various stages of drywall, trim and casework installation. Flooring and finishes are starting and the warm, comfortable environment for our new babies and families is taking shape."

The intermediate care unit on the third floor is in the drywall phase. Casework and trim is being installed on the fourth floor, which will house the mother/baby unit and nursery, she said.

The neonatal intensive care unit on the fifth floor is being drywalled and taped, and the sixth floor – which will be the labor and delivery unit with a view of the Chicago skyline on a clear day – is undergoing finishes, Forszt said.

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