Date: 1/28/2009

Celebrities, Tours, Prizes Headline Community Hospital Emergency Department Open House

MUNSTER — The public is invited to tour the new Community Hospital Emergency Department and get a sneak peek at the new private patient rooms of the West Pavilion at an open house scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 8. Autograph sessions with Olympic Gold Medalist David Neville of Merrillville, Chicago Cubs Outfielder Reed Johnson and Chicago Bears Tight End Greg Olsen, an appearance by Chicago Bulls Mascot Benny the Bull, prizes, and tours of the new facility are all part of the event.

Representing an investment of more than $40 million, the expansion project brings approximately 50 new jobs and a whole new level of comfort and care to residents of Northwest Indiana. With private, first—class accommodations, Community Hospital’s Emergency Department and room expansion project is being hailed as bigger and better from top to bottom.

“If you’ve ever come to an Emergency Department as a patient or worked in one as a healthcare professional, I would encourage you to attend our open house for a look at a new standard in emergency care,” said Don Fesko, CEO of Community Hospital. “The new Emergency Department of Community Hospital is packed with advanced technology, new comforts for patients and families and new efficiencies that will enable us to more quickly assess and treat patients. In this environment where time matters, we’ve given every consideration to how we can better serve our patients, and how we can save lives.”

The impressive new Emergency Department layout has been thoughtfully designed to make everyone feel at home — both staff and patients. Differences can be felt at the front entryway with its spacious, light-filled lobby and family lounge intended to put everyone at ease. There are no “cubicles” for check-in; patients are taken to their own private room, large enough to accommodate a stretcher so assessments — and sometimes treatment - can begin within minutes of the patient’s arrival.

New, larger trauma rooms enable families to stay together, helping to lessen the distress of being separated — a whole family can be treated next to each other in one room. The larger rooms also better accommodate family visitation. All of the treatment rooms are divided by walls and can be closed off for privacy by a glass door and curtains, and making it a quieter environment.

From the healthcare teams’ desk area with multiple stations for computerized charting, to the tube delivery system and on-site laboratory and imaging diagnostics, the new Emergency Department brings new efficiencies for the Community Hospital medical team, saving steps and valuable time that can be spent with patients and their families.

The new Emergency Department incorporates advanced technology to help deliver faster results and better care. Each of the rooms is equipped with technology that can detect conditions affecting the heart’s function. The medical team can perform an EKG in every room, providing a quicker assessment of a patient’s condition. Wireless technology also enables staff to monitor a patient’s condition as they may be moved throughout the department and, with a press of a button, results can be sent instantly to cardiologists.

In an emergency, every second counts so the new Emergency Department is designed to take as much time out of the process as possible. A built-in tube system enables staff to send tissue and blood samples to the laboratory for analysis, rather than having to transport them, thus getting results minutes sooner! Major diagnostic tests used to assess a patient’s condition — x-ray and CT are located right in the Emergency Department, eliminating the need and the time to transport patients to another department.

Specialized trauma rooms that can serve as a surgical suite if necessary, a maternity room with private bathroom, and a decontamination room for treating patients exposed to hazardous materials all support the delivery of better care. The department’s exam rooms also feature advanced lighting systems that rival a surgical suite for better visualization during procedures.

The Emergency Department expansion is just one of the significant investments made in the past year and a half at Community Hospital. In September of 2008, an expansion project of the Family Birthing Center was completed to provide all new private patient accommodations.

As part of the latest renovations, the West Pavilion’s fifth and sixth floors have been converted from office space to a new inpatient oncology unit and a surgical patient floor featuring 52 private patient suites. The new private rooms let patients feel more like they are at home, make family members more comfortable and include amenities considered to be the latest, most advanced, state-of-the-art technology. The new West Pavilion 6th floor rooms will be included as part of the ED Open House tour.

A calm tranquil environment has been created in detail right down to the wall sconces outside each of the private patient rooms that emit a soft glow welcoming visitors. Designed to be soothing and organic, the interiors of the rooms are decorated in tones of ocean blue, driftwood, sunglow and sand. A comfortable sofa with built-in storage unit, desk area, sink and flat screen television are modern, upscale accommodations that complete every room. The sofa folds down into a bed to accommodate an overnight guest. Each room has a spacious, glass-tiled bath area with a shower that rivals the comfort and convenience found in luxury hotels.

Over the next few years, Community Hospital is planning to offer even more private patient room options. An additional 26 private rooms are expected to open on the second floor of the West Pavilion in July 2009. It’s all part of Community Hospital’s plan to provide an environment that better accommodates family visitation and is uplifting and cheerful for patients.

Community Hospital is located at 901 MacArthur Boulevard in Munster. The hospital is part of Community Healthcare System that includes St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.