MERRILLVILLE — Methodist Hospitals on Tuesday held a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new $8 million emergency department, one of three major projects the hospital will undertake at its Southlake Campus this year.
Hospital President and CEO Ian McFadden told a large gathering of local business, medical and political leaders that the hospital, 8701 Broadway, also will open a breast care center and an orthopedic/spine center, both new services to the hospital.
McFadden said work on the breast care center will begin in 60 days and work on the orthopedic/spine center this spring.
“Methodist Hospitals has made a commitment and will continue to make a commitment to quality programs, technology and facilities to Northwest Indiana,” McFadden said.
The new emergency department, which will extend east from the current department, will have 23 rooms and five bathrooms, compared with 12 rooms and one bathroom now, said Dr. Michael McGee, medical director of Methodist Hospitals’ Emergency Department.
He said the new rooms will be 12 feet by 12 feet, large enough to accommodate family members and to provide flexibility if needed. He said all patients will be able to be seen at all times, but curtains will provide privacy if desired.
Matthew Doyle, vice president and CFO of the hospitals, said each room will have a computer and TV and will interface into the hospital’s emergency medical records system. He added two of the rooms will be for trauma.
“When I came here six years ago, the emergency department was antiquated and I think even the patients realized that,” McGee said. “I’m very excited for this day. It’s been a long time coming.”
McFadden said it is especially critical that it have an exceptional emergency department because of its close proximity to heavy industry, mass transit and urban areas, and because it never diverts patients to another hospital if it gets too busy.
Chad Corley, field supervisor of Hasse Construction in Calumet City, Ill., said work will start on the emergency department about April 27. He said the current emergency department will be fully operational throughout construction.
Richard Fetz, with LifeStructures, the architect on the project, said it will be done in two phases. He said the emergency department will be ready for patients at the end of the first phase. The second phase will consist of the waiting room, public restrooms and some offices, he said.
McFadden said the breast cancer center will include three-dimensional mammography, breast reconstruction surgery, ultrasound and office space for physicians. It will be on the second floor of the medical office building on campus.
He said the orthopedic/spine center will include space for several orthopedic surgeons and another spine surgeon. He said this center will be on the third floor of the medical office building.
Doyle said he did not have dollar figures for these two centers.