Nineteen Rotarians gathered at St. Elizabeth's hospital for an introduction to the new facility by Dr. Lawrence Donatelle, and a quick-step walking tour led by Tara Pearce. We began in the beautiful new main entrance, which was part of the first phase of the expansion, remodeling process along with the new parking facility. The Heart/Lung/Vascular unit was next, and the third phase is underway, including a Cancer center, Women and Family center and a combined Emergency and Surgical Preparation Area (known as SPA). These last two are adjacent to each other and allow overflow from one to the other if necessary.
Dr. Donatelle noted that a major project currently being developed is Catalpa, a children and adolescent mental health service. This is a collaboration between Affinity, Children's Hospital and Thedacare. He also discussed the special emphasis that Affinity, a part of Ministry Health Care System, has on care for the poor. There is an effort to provide "right care in the right place", using LEAN principles, and a need to balance the "mission and the margin" in providing care for everyone - the fully insured, the underinsured and the uninsured, medicare and medicaid patients.
Following his presentation, we toured the new sections of the hospital. Eventually, most public walkways between functional areas will be along the exterior of the building, with floor to ceiling windows on the outside, helping people find their bearings on the large property. Public walkways will mainly be separated from hospital patient areas, increasing privacy for patients. By: Barbara Kelly