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Health Care Construction Projects Under Way Around the State

article 2A number of construction projects have been completed or are under way at health care facilities around the state.

 Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham

Princeton Baptist Medical Center has completed a $57 million expansion. The 90,000-square-foot expansion is the largest construction project ever undertaken in west Birmingham. It features a stunning glass and steel exterior and open spaces, and a new chapel “in the round” is the centerpiece in the large lobby area. Dick Richard, project manager with TRO/Jung Brannen, says the chapel is “the jewel in the jeweler’s box. It is a reflection of what the hospital is all about and speaks to its mission in the community, which is service.”

Construction was done in 28 phases, according to Richard, and took about two and a half years. A much-needed new surgery department features a hybrid operating room, 16 new over-sized surgical suites, a GI lab, and two procedure rooms equipped with the latest technology. It also includes a new multi-specialty imaging suite that features Alabama’s first Artis ZEEGO multi-axis imaging system by Siemens. With this system, surgeons can perform vascular and radiological images in the operating room.

The expansion also includes a new sterilization command center where designated elevators take instruments directly to the “dirty” side of the room for cleaning. Clean instruments are then taken back upstairs on a “clean” elevator and stored for the next surgery.

Marshall Cancer Center, Guntersville

The president of Marshall Cancer Care Center wanted to tie a new expansion into their existing historic building to create a larger facility and to consolidate cancer services in the area into one location. The new Marshall Cancer Care Center opened in 2013. The 22,000-square-foot facility offers the latest oncology treatments for a variety of cancers. The center includes the newest equipment and technology for localized treatment of affected cancer cells, including the Varian Linear Accelerator for more accurate treatment and increased patient comfort.

The facility has comfortable treatment areas for chemotherapy support for patients and their families and friends. “The chemotherapy infusion bays are on the second floor, which opens to a rooftop garden,” says project manager Dick Richard of TRO/Jung Brannen. “It is a beautiful building and has become a gem on Highway 431.”

UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham

For the first time since its construction in 1970, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a facelift. After dealing with dramatic growth in recent years, the Comprehensive Cancer Center was renovated and updated last year. While appearing the same from outside, the interior is dramatically different. A new skylight brightens the inside, and offices are arranged around the central atrium.

The laboratory area has been updated. A new lighting system for lab benches have fixtures installed directly over each bench to prevent shadows. The labs themselves are open with no walls, which allows technicians and researchers to communicate better with one another. The basement contains two large PET (Positron Emission Topography) scanners and a new cyclotron which is the largest of its kind in the United States.

UAB School of Health Professions, Birmingham

A two-floor addition to the School of Health Professions building was completed in the summer of 2013. An additional 35,000 square feet of space includes new state-of-the-art research labs and a cutting edge

Executive Learning Center (ELC). The ELC can seat more than 80 students and includes technology to transmit the classroom learning experience to thousands of people around the world instantaneously.

Medical West, Birmingham

Medical West is working on upgrades to its facilities, equipment, infrastructure, and information systems at its current location and at Medical West satellite health centers that will provide a more comfortable environment for patients and visitors. New information technology will be part of the upgrade. Renovations will be completed in 2014.

New floors will be added throughout the building, and patient rooms will be upgraded with refurbished bathrooms and new furniture. Nurse stations are being redesigned and the cafeteria, professional building lobby and elevators will be remodeled. An Emergency Room expansion will include seven additional exam rooms, and the hospital’s inpatient rehab unit will be upgraded to better accommodate patients who stay at the facility for an extended period. A new state-of-the-art nuclear medicine camera and echocardiogram machine will enhance services to patients.

Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville

A new 180-foot-long walking bridge spanning the intersection of St. Clair Avenue and Gallatin Street in Huntsville will connect the third floor of Huntsville Hospital’s visitor parking garage with Twickenham Square, which is also under construction.

Later this year, the hospital’s clinical laboratory will more than double its space when it moves to the second and third floors of the new building. That move will free up space inside the hospital to expand the surgical department.

Cullman Regional Medical Center, Cullman

Cullman Regional Medical Center has a couple of renovation projects under way. After two and a half years, the Cullman Emergency Medical Services will have a permanent home after it was displaced by a tornado in 2011. The new facility will feature 10 ambulance bays, a waiting room, office space, sleeping quarters, a conference room, restrooms and a storage area. The project is expected to be completed by April 2014.

A “Refresh A Room” campaign is under way to meet current standard of care requirements while creating a comfortable environment with modern aesthetics. The upgrade is designed to facilitate a relaxed, less clinical feeling environment for patients. To date, one wing of the hospital has been completed, and the Maternity ward is currently undergoing a transformation. Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Post-Partum suites are being transformed into hotel-like suites. Each suite will have a dual-recline sleeper sofa, laminate flooring, a flat-screen television, custom artwork and cabinetry.

St. Vincent’s Bruno Cancer Center, Birmingham

Construction continues on the new Bruno Cancer Center on the Birmingham campus of St. Vincent’s Hospital. Exterior finishes are being completed, and interior framing began in mid-February. The center is scheduled for opening on August 11, 2014.

The new center will be housed in a 70,000-square-foot, four-story freestanding professional office building and will include features for improved comfort, easy access and privacy. There will be separate entries for treatment and office visits directly from the parking deck, automated check-in for faster registration, and expanded space in exam rooms and common areas.

The facility also will house the Varian TrueBeam STx, the latest in radiation technology that enables several radiotherapy treatment options with pinpoint accuracy.

Pictured: UAB Cancer Center

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