CHICAGO - In an effort to modernize its services and keep up with current
trends in health care, the South Chicago Community Hospital is undergoing a
$15.5 million construction and remodeling project.
After tearing down an old office building next to the main hospital
structure in September, the hospital will build a three-story addition to its
building at 2320 E. 93rd St.
The hospital serves all of south Chicago, as well as several south suburbs.
The addition is meant to keep the facility in step with current methods of
health care, said Darcy Frank, administrative director of marketing.
"We're seeing a decline in the number of inpatient services and more
outpatient cases," Frank said.
The new structure will be devoted to same-day outpatient services, offering
a place for patients to come in for testing, surgery and recovery all in the
same area and on the same day.
"This will be much more convenient for the patients," she said. "Everything
is more customer oriented."
The new building will house services including ambulatory surgery,
cardiopulmonary services, nuclear medicine and a gastrointestinal laboratory.
It is expected to be completed by January 1993, Frank said.
The hospital will also make extensive improvements to its main structure,
including a new chapel and gift shop on the first floor. The lobby and waiting
areas will be modernized and refurbished.
Plans during the next two years also include converting almost 50 percent of
all patient rooms to private rooms with baths.
When the hospital was built in 1895, private bathrooms were not included, as
was the norm in hospital design at the time, Frank said.
South Chicago Community Hospital, a 291-bed facility, is one of Chicago's
oldest hospitals. In 1988, Evangelical Health Systems bought the facility and
began to plan ways to improve services, she said.
"We met with the community to figure out what we had to do to keep up with
our community's needs," she said.
Although most current and former patients gave high ratings to the hospital,
the one thing they didn't like was shared bathrooms, Frank said.
Because the hospital operates at an average occupancy rate of 60 percent,
workers will be able to isolate sections of the building for renovation and
move patients into other rooms, avoiding any disturbance in care.
"None of this will impact patient care," she said.
The construction and renovation is being funded by a variety of sources,
including a $150,000 donation from Waste Management of North America, Inc. and
Chemical Waste Management, Inc.
The donation will be made in three installments.
Public support of the project reached $2.7 million with the companies'
donation, hospital officials said.
Evangelical Health Systems owns and operates four other hospitals in the
Chicago area, including Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Bethany
Hospital in Chicago, Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove and Good Shepherd
Hospital in Barrington.