Date: 10/28/2009

St. Mary Medical Center Breaks Ground on New Emergency Department Expansion

Pictured (L-R):
Dave Nellans, Vice President, Engineering & Support Services, St. Mary Medical Center
Paula Rousis, RN, Nurse Manager, Emergency Department, St. Mary Medical Center
John Gorski, Chief Operating Officer, Community Healthcare System
William Schenck, Chairman, Board of Directors, St. Mary Medical Center
Janice Ryba, CEO, St. Mary Medical Center
Michael Whalen, CEO, Walsh Construction
Brian Snedecor, Mayor, City of Hobart
John Mulligan, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Services, St. Mary Medical Center
Thomas Caplis, Senior Project Manager, Walsh Construction


HOBART — St. Mary Medical Center will break ground on a new $8 million Emergency Department expansion and renovation on Wednesday, October 28, at 10 am. The project, which serves to meet the ever-growing health care needs of Northwest Indiana residents, will nearly double the existing Emergency Department’s size and capacity — increasing from 7,671 square feet to 15,334 square feet and from 14 to 24 treatment rooms.

“In this environment where time is crucial, we’ve given every consideration to how we can continue to improve service to our patients and expedite their care in a safe, comfortable environment,” said Janice Ryba, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center. “Our new Emergency Department will feature the most advanced technology, new comforts and privacy for patients and families and new design efficiencies that will enable us to more quickly and easily assess and treat patients.”

The impressive new Emergency Department layout has been thoughtfully designed with comfort, safety and privacy in mind — for patients, doctors and hospital staff. Differences will be immediately noticed from the exterior with two, separate entrances — one for ambulances and Emergency Medical Transport vehicles, and another for the public. The public entrance will be widened and canopied, and the number of ambulance drop off areas will be increased from two to four.

Inside, the department layout is designed to increase patient privacy and decrease wait times by increasing efficiency. Part of that efficiency will be found in the new digital Radiology room conveniently located within the department, to expedite x-ray and scanning procedures. Additional imaging services such as MRI and CT are located directly adjacent to the Emergency Department for patients, such as those experiencing stroke or heart attack, who require immediate access to those services.

Upon entering the new space, patients will check-in and will immediately be taken to their own private, spacious rooms so that assessment — and sometimes treatment — can begin within minutes of their arrival. The new entry and waiting area will also be larger and more welcoming to patients and family members.

With the addition of 10 treatment rooms and reconstruction of the current space, the new Emergency Department will add one trauma room, two new triage rooms, and seven treatment rooms configured to maximize patient flow and delivery of care. All of the rooms will be divided by walls and can be closed off for privacy by glass doors and curtains, making it a quieter, less stressful environment.

“By adding 10 treatment rooms and designing for greater efficiencies, we anticipate being able to take care of many more patients, more quickly and comfortably,” said John Mulligan, M.D., medical director of Emergency Services at St. Mary Medical Center. “Last year, we had more than 30,000 visits to our Emergency Department. With completion of the expansion and renovation project, we’ll increase our capacity to about 40,000 annual visits, enabling us to continue meeting the growing needs of the community.”

The Emergency Department expansion is just one of the significant investments made in the past year at St. Mary Medical Center. In October of 2008, a new $6 million Imaging Center opened at the hospital to provide the most advanced technology - CT, MRI and Ultrasound services - in one convenient location. And in May 2008, the hospital unveiled a new $3.5 million, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory.

For more information about our Emergency Department, please click here.