Office Of Public Affairs

Taking Time Out To Celebrate

Aug 26, 2007 6:00 PM

On July 10, with a ceremonial snip of the scissors and enthusiastic applause, University Health Care administrators, donors, and staff celebrated the completion of the first phase of the hospital's ambitious expansion project, even as sounds of construction continued in the background as if on cue. After opening remarks, attendees were invited to tour the new 5th floor of the Eccles Critical Care Pavilion, which features 26 new private patient rooms and innovative design elements such as modular nursing stations.

"I can assure you that as we begin moving patients into this new unit--and in a few years, the new wing of the hospital--the sound of jack hammers, the utility interruptions, and all of the other inconveniences that comes with construction will have been worth it," said A. Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health sciences, who thanked the faculty and staff for their patience and professionalism during the construction.

David Entwistle, Hospitals & Clinics CEO echoed Betz with his gratitude. "It's never easy to add two floors to an existing building. It's even more difficult when that building is a major trauma center that serves patients located across 10 percent of the geographic United States," said Entwistle. "Our staff has been amazing and I can report that our patients and their families have noticed the extra commitment everyone has made over the past year during construction." Entwistle also thanked the Layton construction team, who in spite of a very complicated project, made sure patient care wasn't impacted.

Some of the floor's unique features are thanks to the input of a team of caregivers, including staff nurses. "In designing this new unit, we would have been foolish not to tap into the expertise of those who know patient care best--our excellent nursing team," said Margaret Pearce, R.N., chief nursing officer.

Natalie Manolakis, R.N., manager of the new 5 Eccles unit, will spend the next few months training and hiring staff, and recruiting from both inside and outside of the hospital and at nursing colleges.

Tom Miller, M.D., chief medical officer, is confident the new floor will improve both staff and patient satisfaction. "Everyone loves to be in a pleasant environment," said Miller. "And this floor is designed to be quieter, with less commotion and activity." Miller also said the opening of 5 Eccles will help improve patient flow from various units, decrease time on trauma divert, and limit the number of inter-bed transfers.

"Today's celebration is an important milestone in our $130 million expansion project. But, it is just a marker," said Entwistle. "This afternoon it's back to work."

And so it was.

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