|Straight Talk - “Money well spent”|
October 13, 2011
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Summer is over, and as we look back, can we say that we used those months productively? In a word, “Absolutely!” In fact, we completed three huge projects with three more in the works—all designed to enhance our environment as a warm, caring place to nurture and heal. These six major projects will cost us $35 million, the largest stimulus by far for the county’s construction economy—and money well spent for our patients and their families.
Here’s what we finished this summer, and what our neighbors can look forward to enjoying.
• Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilitation contains 54 beds, a huge rehabilitation gym overlooking a beautiful pond, two interior gardens, extra wide corridors, revised bathrooms, and an enlarged nursing station. Working with Lynn Olson’s original, smart design for healthy aging, we added strategic features for rehabilitation. Rehab Director Heather Baker and her team, including Maria Feola, Sue Graziano, Karen Judd, and Jennifer Shover dedicated this soothing and functional unit in September, before a large and supportive crowd. This year, Brookdale will admit more than 900 functionally-challenged patients —some unable to walk, swallow or speak due to strokes, operations, or metabolic disorders. After their stay at Brookdale, most patients return home able to ambulate, eat, make themselves understood, and lead happier and more functional lives. Brookdale Center is truly a noble place of healing, with a team of 130 dedicated professionals working together to serve our disabled neighbors.
• Naples Heart Institute is perhaps the most spectacular medical office ever built in southwest Florida. This 24,000 square foot office on the third floor of the Briggs Wellness Building is home to 13 cardiologists, supported by almost 40 colleagues, equipped with the latest diagnostic cardiology equipment. The goal of this state-of-art Heart Institute is to become a medical destination for patients from around the county. Today, one of eight inpatients, spending a night or more at NCH, comes from outside our five-county area. Our intent is to grow our outpatient competence, attractiveness and convenience, becoming a single destination for patients with any type of heart problem.
• Our downtown NCH cafeteria, also rapidly becoming a “destination,” underwent a dazzling summer makeover, courtesy of designers Evelyn Vance, Lee Almeida and Walt Tester. The cafeteria now features the Garden of Hope and Courage as the focal point of the dining room. I dined there early with Joe Gutierrez, OR technician, and we both were impressed with the food, the look, and the warm and welcoming ambience. To complement the new design, updated equipment, and expanded gourmet offerings of Chef Ron Mahon and Chef John Hart, the NCH Food and Nutrition Department developed a wholesome, five-week menu cycle that concentrates specifically on wellness.
Construction in process includes 64 private rooms on the fifth and sixth floor of the Baker Tower on the North Naples campus; a completely redone 6-South on the downtown campus—both to be finished before year-end 2011; and two oversized operating rooms on the North Naples campus with new waiting rooms and pre-and post-operating area—scheduled to be completed next spring.
These top-of-the-line construction projects are wonderful enhancements. But as welcome as they are, they still come in second to our most important resource—the extraordinary people who deliver quality care every day.