Straight Talk - “healthcare as an economic driver.” Nowhere is this more true than right here in Naples.

June 9, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
One dominant theme that Rich Umbdenstock, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association, stressed at last week’s Board meeting of the Florida Hospital Association was “healthcare as an economic driver.” Nowhere is this more true than right here in Naples.

Right now at NCH, we have $35.3 million of building and renovation projects at work. (Last week, by mistake, I misplaced a decimal point and reported a much lower number. My error.) Our projects, barring unusual circumstances, always use local contractors. Here’s a quick rundown of six major NCH construction projects:
  • The buildout of the 5th and 6th Floors of the Baker Tower on the North Naples campus, which will add 64 private “Smart Rooms” with telemetry monitoring, new patient beds, nursing stations and support areas.
  • Two new state-of the-art operating rooms along with refurbishing the four existing operation rooms at North Naples. The family waiting area and pre- and post-operative areas will also be included in this complex staged project. The Materials Management function of North Naples will also be relocated.
  • The Naples Heart Institute, destined to be the new home to 14 cardiologists, is a 22,500 square foot comprehensive diagnostic outpatient center, with 28 exam rooms, nuclear testing, ECHO cardiography, and room to expand. Naples Heart Institute cardiologists had significant input into this patient-centered environment, which is rapidly transforming the third floor of the Briggs Wellness Center.
  • The Downtown 6 South Medical Neuroscience Unit is undergoing a major renovation. The 30 private and two semi-private rooms will have upgraded finishes and redesigned nursing stations for more effective patient care. Mechanical upgrades will include new air handling equipment.
  • The Brookdale Center for Aging will add Rehabilitation capability, as the former 5 South migrates to the North Naples Campus with an all-new rehab gym, reconfigured bathrooms, and a larger and improved nursing station. This change will help ensure that the beautiful Brookdale Center, with its two magnificent interior gardens, will be used year-round. New capacity will be 54 beds.
  • The downtown cafeteria will be remodeled over the summer so that we can have a more welcoming and relaxing area for guests and ourselves. We’ll add new equipment to help our dietary staff continue to create great meals for everyone.
That $35 million of building and renovation projects is but the tip of the iceberg. We’re also:

  • Replacing the cardiac cath lab in our outpatient area, so we can continue to perform cardiac procedures with patients not needing to stay over night in the hospital.
  • Adding 801 intravenous smart pumps, wirelessly connected to our information technology system.
  • Updating revenue cycle software so that we are compensated fairly and patients better understand their bills.
  • Expanding telemetry to all non-critical care patient areas.
All in, we’re spending more than $65 million to upgrade our facilities and operations and ensure that NCH delivers the highest quality healthcare. At the same time, we’re serving as a regional “economic driver,” providing jobs and investing in the future of our community. And that’s money well spent.

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO
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