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GREEN BAY — Bellin Health today begins construction to remodel its emergency services department to enhance service to its patients.
The project will enable Bellin to provide more room and faster service for patients, hospital officials said. It’s also been deemed a necessary undertaking to help Bellin maintain its tradition of delivering high-quality, affordable care to the estimated 30,000 emergency department patients it sees annually.
Remodeling the current urgent care facility, built in 1953, also is a proactive move to address the expected demand in services as aging baby boomers begin requiring more emergency care, said Bonnie Parrott, team leader, Bellin Health Emergency Services.
As of July 1, 2005, there were an estimated 78.2 million baby boomers in the United States, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show. A similar U.S. Census report showed that in 2006 an estimated 7,918 people turned 60 years of age each day, or about 330 people reached the 60-years mark every hour.
“We’re already seeing a gradual increase in our patient numbers,” Parrott said. “We’re expecting to see our numbers climb over time and are actually anticipating an eventual increase in the severity of illnesses we treat here.”
The need for more space is the primary reason for this project, hospital officials say.
“Although we’re doing a great job under the circumstances, our facility constrains us,” said Paul Vlies, team leader, Engineering Design at Bellin. “Our emergency department, while adequate, just doesn’t fully support the modern technology of a quality health care facility and can’t effectively support the anticipated surge in demand for services.”
When complete, the Emergency Department will encompass 32,448-square-feet. Nearly all of the footage will be renovated existing space, with a small addition to the existing structure planned.
“The growing health care needs of Green Bay and the region are the driving force behind this project,” said Dr. Paul Casey, director, Bellin Health Emergency Services. “A new emergency services pavilion will help us provide world-class emergency care to patients across Northeast Wisconsin.”
The new patient entrance will directly face Van Buren Street, while the remodeled emergency vehicle entrance and garage area will remain on Webster Avenue. The initial construction will temporarily cause the closure of Van Buren Street from the Emergency Department driveway on the south side of the hospital to Cass Street.
Planned features for the pavilion include:
· Sixteen individual patient rooms
· KidCare treatment
· Diagnostic suite
· Enlarged ambulance bays offering easier access for emergency vehicles
· Family lounge and counseling area
· Emergency medical services personnel lounge
· Centralized nurse’s station
Construction on the $13 million pavilion project is slated to end in May 2010.