Thursday, April 3, 2008

Loyola's New Hospital Tower Houses Nature-Inspired Patient Areas And Leading-Edge Technology

Offers Next-Generation Heart Care, New Operating Rooms, Patient Rooms

(MAYWOOD, Ill.) APRIL 3, 2008 - Loyola University Hospital's new patient tower does more than give the hospital a grand front entrance in the heart of the campus. The $120 million project also will help patients heal faster.

The 170,000-square-foot structure combines the latest medical technology, such as a pharmacy robot and super-strength MRI machine, with patient rooms offering flat-screen TVs, internet access and spectacular views of the Chicago skyline.

"We've created a facility that blends elements and colors from nature to enhance the healing experience," said Paul Whelton, MB, MD, MSc, president and chief executive officer of Loyola University Health System (LUHS). "At the same time, it elegantly assimilates the high-tech amenities that our patients have come to expect from Loyola as a leading academic medical center."

The new building clearly establishes the hospital's main entrance. Its identity as a Catholic hospital is honored with a cross built into its pinnacle and exterior embellishments of the Loyola sword and shield, which are repeated in the building's interior detail. A healing garden offers patients and visitors a place for prayer and meditation, important tenets of Loyola's Catholic-Jesuit tradition of reflection.

Each of the 64 new private rooms has a large bathroom, flat-screen television, wireless internet access and plenty of natural light through large windows. East-facing rooms offer views of the Chicago skyline and Miller Meadow forest preserve. The rooms have calming colors, and patients have the option of turning down the lighting.

Earth, water and sky themes echo throughout the building. In the atrium lobby, water cascades down an 18-foot waterfall. The lobby, finished in natural materials such as white maple and Egyptian limestone, is named for former LUHS Board Chairman Frank W. Considine and his wife, Nancy S. Considine. Their pledged gift helped to create the welcoming area.

The heart of the building

Loyola's renowned Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine occupies a large portion of the main floor. It comprises eight new interventional laboratories: four cardiac catheterization laboratories, and four cardiac electrophysiology laboratories. It also features private patient holding/recovery rooms and new areas for non-invasive cardiac and peripheral vascular diagnostics. Named for donors William G. and Mary A. Ryan, the center will hold the area's first magnetic-guided navigation system for treatment of conditions such as heart rhythm disorders, heart failure and coronary artery disease.

Twelve state-of-the-art operating rooms, flanked by pre-operative and recovery areas, are powered by equipment concealed on the third floor. A pathology laboratory adjacent to the operating suites will allow for tissue testing that will guide surgeons as they work. Patients are transported to surgery and diagnostic tests via private hallways that remain faithful to the color scheme and feature nature-inspired artworks.

A new style of caring

Patients in the new building will notice some distinctive qualities about the staff as well. Nurses will be instantly identifiable in their new uniforms: fresh blue scrub tops and pants, topped off with white jackets. Nurses will follow a new patient-and-family-centered model of care that increases the amount of time they spend at each patient's bedside. Nurses will convene small "hallway huddles" to confer about patients with complex conditions. The building is designed to support this evidence-based model by eliminating large, central nursing stations on the patient floors and replacing them with smaller stations outside the patient rooms. Other staff members, such as patient care technicians and transporters, will also wear uniforms to help patients instantly recognize who they are. There are designated teaching areas on the floors for doctors and nurses in training.

Completion of the building concludes Phase I of the four phases of the $120 million expansion project. Although the new construction component is now complete, work to revamp the existing hospital building will continue through October 2009. The additional phases will include renovation and reconstruction of the adjoining Russo Pavilion, involving more than 60,000 square feet of the existing hospital's first and second floors.

# # #

NOTE TO REPORTERS: For interviews, photos or to schedule a tour, please contact Loyola Media Relations: 708-216-3200.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.