Back to List

Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Jan 10, 2019
Three recent, large projects focused on better patient outcomes demonstrated two of NCH’s core competencies—long term commitments and responsiveness to changing environments.

First, this past Monday our new 22-bed, state-of-the-art adult critical care unit opened on 3 South of the Baker Hospital.  Combining the former Surgical ICU with the Medical ICU into one new unit has many advantages.  Patients and their families have much larger family-centered rooms facilitating comfortable visitation.  Large windows with natural lighting in every room and common space will help patients maintain a sense of day and night.  The warm and soothing lighting, décor, and colors are comforting in an otherwise stressful clinical situation.  Integrated lifts in every room enhance patients’ mobility while making nursing care better and safer. 


All of the rooms have Smart Room technology.  The advantages for patient care and comfort also include educational videos and entertainment.  The internal medicine residents and their professors have expanded work areas.  The design of the unit facilitates team rounds focused on patients’ outcomes. 


NCH has repurposed units on the Baker campus for decades.  Serendipitously, RN Andrew Cooke, now caring for patients in the new ICU, was born on this floor decades ago when the same space was a new Obstetrics unit.  Subsequently, this location was a step-down, in-hospital skilled nursing unit, and later still medical/surgical. 


Second, our fifth cath lab also opened this past Monday.  About two years ago, NCH renovated four cath labs, leaving a planned space for a future fifth lab.  But the demand has been so great due to structural heart procedures such as TAVR (placing heart valves via catheterization—more about this in a future Straight Talk), Watchman (an atrial appendage closure device), and other electrophysiological procedures that we needed the fifth now.


Third, the growth in southern Lee County is an example of a changing environment and NCH’s response.  Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons along with the community welcomed NCH’s full service free standing Emergency Department (FSED), which opened officially on December 22, 2018.  An overwhelmingly positive and well-attended open house signaled the Bonita community’s support.  Twelve ED bays; six additional chairs in a sub-waiting room; and full radiology with two CTs, MRI, Ultra Sound, and plain X-ray are already busy.  The level of acuity of patients needing care has required many to be hospitalized at a hospital of their choice.  Much like our FSED on the corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Blvd, we expect this new location will continue NCH’s tradition of providing some of the best emergent care in the nation.


The second floor of the ED will open this winter with room for six out-patient physicians and two operating rooms.  The first physician to join is Family Physician Dr. Gilberto Riveron who is moving from NCH’s location on Bonita Beach Road.  Additional physicians will join the team to serve the rapidly growing area.


NCH continues to be responsive to our community.  We just had record setting 6.4% increase over our previously busiest October-November-December, and we are planning for continued growth in response to quality patient outcomes.  We normally have about 4,300+ colleagues going into “season.”  We are up to a record 4,900+. 


Helping everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life should be everyone’s goal—it is NCH’s.


P.S.  DO YOU HAVE A COLLEAGUE OR FRIEND WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN UPDATES?  Please enter their email address at, and we will add them to our complimentary mailing list.

Allen S. Weiss, M.D.

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.