Northwest Medical Center

Members of the Northwest Medical Center team celebrate during the ground-breaking ceremony for the new construction project.

Alan Petrillo/Special to The Explorer

Northwest Medical Center (NMC) last week broke ground for a $46 million expansion that will deliver a new surgical wing and add four minimally invasive operating room (OR) suites to the existing dozen ORs in the hospital.

Kevin Stockton, NMC’s chief operating officer, said the single-story expansion will be constructed at the end of the current surgical wing into the east surgical parking lot in such a way that an additional three floors might be added at some time in the future. Layton Construction Co. Inc., a nationally-recognized commercial construction company, will build the nearly 70,000 square feet of new space, Stockton noted.

Stockton estimated the expansion would be completed within 18 to 20 months.

Richard Chua, M.D, NMC chief of surgery, said the project “was designed in such a way that NMC could “increase our operating room capacity and efficiencies and not have it affect the daily volumes of surgeries that happen in the hospital.”

He pointed out the new operating rooms would be focused on bariatric, robotic, and total joint and total spine surgery, with one of them being a special hybrid cardiology/cardiovascular OR, “that will allow us to use all the most up-to-date technology for minimally invasive, image guided and endovascular techniques.

Chua added, “Once the surgical wing is completed and the new ORs are in service, then we will be renovating the existing operating rooms to improve their efficiencies and outfit them all as minimally invasive OR suites.”

He pointed out that the average operating room size will be increased from 400 to 550 square feet.

The project is expected to be built in phases, with phase I being the completion of the 16-suites of operating rooms, along with a new lobby and 24-bed PACU (post-anesthesia care unit), while phase II will include the renovation of the existing pre-op, gastroenterology and central sterilization areas.

Stockton pointed out, “We consistently explore ways to better serve our employees, physicians, and of course, our patients. The operating room expansion allows us to continue to deliver on that commitment.” He continued, “We’re most excited about the new hybrid room. We currently provide a high level of cardiac care, but this room will take our cardiovascular services to an even higher level.”

Participating in the groundbreaking event last week were Stockton and Chua, as well as NMC chaplain Carl Stouffer, chief operating officer Veronica Knudson, chief financial officer Ron Patrick, chief nursing office Kay Stubbs, assistant chief operating officer Andy Willis, administrative director of procedural services Cindy Miller, project manager Ray Cossette, and board of trustees chairman George Dean, M.D.

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