DECATUR — Doctors at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital are getting new space to care for their patients.
Plans were announced in February that a building will be added to the hospital campus, beginning this spring. The two-story building will cost $12 million and add 29,000 square feet of space.
The building, which will be in what is currently a parking lot on the southern portion of the property along East Lakeshore Drive, will house a variety of multispecialty physicians from the HSHS Medical Group.
The facility places the patients and doctors near hospital facilities, said Tim DeGarmo, director of facilities for the hospital, and this will improve the level of care and the patient experience.
“We are very excited about it, and it will definitely be good for St. Mary’s hospital and HSHS Medical Group,” he said.
The design process has been in the works for a while, DeGarmo said, and the Decatur City Council gave the green light to go ahead with construction on Feb. 20. While plans aren't yet finalized, construction is anticipated to take 12 months, he said.
“This building will be better equipped to serve our patients, providing access to a range of specialists near other health care services at the hospital,” Melinda Clark, CEO of HSHS Medical Group, said in a statement.
Currently, the HSHS Medical Group is in another part of the hospital, but the new location will provide the specialists with their own space, DeGarmo said.
The new structure will also round out the design of the campus, said DeGarmo said. The hospital will add a parking lot to the west along 16th Street to make up for the spaces taken up by the new building, he said.
“The patients are at the center of this decision,” Joan M. Coffman, president and CEO of St. Mary’s, said in a statement. “With all of the HSHS Medical Group specialists housed under the same roof, patients will have access to all of their doctors right here at St. Mary’s Hospital.”
St. Mary's Hospital is also completing a $9 million renovation to its intensive care unit, work that will double the space and make it easier for families to be together with patients.
The goals of the project include providing more space and a better arrangement for the ICU, so families can be near their loved ones, an important part of the healing process, Chief Nursing Officer Michelle Oliver said.
Renovations are expected to take nine months, with a projected opening of Sept. 9, said DeGarmo. Work began in December.
The renovated ICU space will be more than double the size of the current ICU, with the same number of patient rooms. The new space will be 13,500 square feet versus the current unit of 6,100 square feet. The rooms will double in size to about 360 square feet, and each room will have a recliner for family members to sleep in to stay with the patient, he said.
“It is going to create a much nicer healing environment for our patients,” DeGarmo said. “The environment will be upgraded aesthetically to be much more healing.”