Memorial 2020 marks completion


Community partners and stakeholders gathered Friday for a small, socially distanced ribbon cutting ceremony for Memorial Health’s new Inpatient and Outpatient Pavilions. Pictured from left to right are Emily Wieringa, Memorial Health Board trustee; Tina Owens-Ruff, Memorial Health Board trustee; Chad Hoffman, Memorial Health Board trustee and Memorial 2020 Campaign co-chair; Dennis Stone, Memorial Health Board of Trustees vice-chair; Nikki Conklin, Memorial Health Board of Trustees former chair and Memorial 2020 Campaign co-chair; Chip Hubbs, President/CEO of Memorial Health; Corry Mason, Memorial Health Director of Facilities; Spence Fisher, Memorial Health Executive Vice President; Charles Hall, Union County Commissioner; Chris Schmenk, Union County Commissioner; Doug Loudenslager, Memorial Health Board of Trustees secretary; Steve Stolte, Union County Commissioner; and Gary McDowell, Memorial Health Board of Trustees chair.

(Journal-Tribune photo by Kayleen Petrovia)

Patient rooms in the new Memorial Hospital Inpatient Pavilion each offer a private space including a couch that converts into a bed for caregivers and a cushioned transport chair. Each room also has a restroom with its own shower.

(Journal-Tribune photo by Kayleen Petrovia)

Community partners and stakeholders gathered Friday for a small, socially distanced ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new Memorial Health Inpatient and Outpatient pavilions.

The celebration marked the completion of the healthcare system’s $50 million Memorial 2020 project, what Memorial Health CEO and President Chip Hubbs called a “once in a career opportunity.”

“Most people don’t get to say they built a hospital and certainly not one like this,” he said.

The Memorial Inpatient Pavilion is slated to open on October 27, with the Outpatient Pavilion will begin to welcome patients in mid-November. 

 “Today marks a monumental milestone for the entire Memorial Health team and our surrounding communities, as we usher in one of the largest historical events on our timeline,” said Hubbs. “While we celebrate the highly anticipated completion and grand opening of our Inpatient and Outpatient Pavilions, we are more proud of what it means to our region.”

He said the expansion is “almost unheard of for a mid-size hospital” and will benefit the community for years to come.

 The 77,000 square-foot Inpatient Pavilion will feature 36 brand-new, universal patient rooms that will replace the existing ICU, Med-Surg and Stepdown areas.

The rooms are also designed for versatility, with each room having the flexibility to meet a variety of clinical needs.   

Hubbs noted that “every room is capable of doing everything” and inpatient rooms are no longer separated into different units. He said this allows for a more efficient use of space.

In-patient rooms offer state-of-the-art private hospital rooms with full, private bathrooms, including a shower designed without a ledge to step up into, for patient’s safety.

The rooms are canted, designed with the headwall angled toward the window, thereby increasing the patient’s views to the outside and allowing more natural light to cascade in.  

There is also a cushioned transport chair in every room that can be used to move patients to the in-patient occupational therapy room, if that is part of their treatment plan.

 Memorial representatives said the inpatient layout was configured to allow family members to be engaged in care, right along with the patient and clinicians, with expanded room for visitor seating.

Each room has a couch that converts into a bed for caregivers or visitors to stay overnight.

Innovative nursing “perches” with desks and computers have been strategically placed outside each patient’s room to allow for more intensive monitoring of patient needs.

Each perch is near a window with frosted “blinds” that allow nurses to look in to check on patients without entering the room or disturbing them.

Representatives said Memorial 2020 was carefully planned for the medical needs of today where a definitive shift to outpatient medical care is evident.

The 30,000 square-foot Outpatient Pavilion will be the central location for a host of services – ranging from oncology/hematology and nephrology, to neurology, neurosurgery, rheumatology, and gastroenterology. 

 With a dedicated drop-off area and close parking, visitors will be able to quickly and conveniently access the facility. In addition, the area will house new locations for the Wellness Center, Medication Therapies Center, Diabetes Education and Nutrition Counseling and lab draw. 

“The Memorial 2020 project was carefully and thoughtfully planned to expand with the organization’s growth trajectory. And we are positioned to adapt to the changing healthcare needs of the community,” explained Hubbs.

He added, “In fact, we designed the second floor of the Inpatient Pavilion with a shelled-in area that could later be transitioned to another 12 inpatient rooms, or converted to a healthcare need that presents itself.” 

 Funding for the expansion and renovation project was secured from a variety of sources, including existing cash, bonds, and bank financing, in addition to donations received during the Memorial 2020 Capital Campaign, with over $4 million raised in overall philanthropic support.

These charitable contributions ensured Memorial’s debt remained within appropriate limits, while aiding the hospital in its effort to receive bond funding.

No tax dollars were used to fund the project. While Memorial Health is county-owned, it does not receive any tax dollars for operations or capital projects and has not for decades.

“Speaking for our 1,000-plus associates across various locations, we look forward to continuing to provide top-notch patient experiences for generations to come,” adds Hubbs. 

While mass gathering restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented a larger ceremony, Hubbs said online video tours will be available to the public at after Oct. 23.

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