St. Anthony’s Medical Center announces $90 million redesign, construction project

This is an artists rendering of St. Anthonys Medical Centers \$90 million hospital redesign and construction project.

This is an artist’s rendering of St. Anthony’s Medical Center’s \$90 million hospital redesign and construction project.

St. Anthony’s Medical Center last week announced the start of a $90 million hospital redesign and construction project that will result in a new, four-story hospital facility, a separate pediatric emergency department and all private acute-care patient rooms.

St. Anthony’s also will renovate and relocate several clinical services to enhance patient access and care. The extensive redesign, which gets under way this summer, is expected to be complete by mid-2008.

“This truly is a recommitment to the people in South St. Louis County, Jefferson County and Monroe County, Ill., that we will continue to provide the best in tertiary care,” Thomas Rockers, president and chief executive officer of St. Anthony’s, stated in a news release. “When it is complete, St. Anthony’s Medical Center will have all private acute-care patient rooms, the latest in technology in our operating rooms and a second major entrance into the hospital for convenient access to all of our heart-related services.”

Specifically, St. Anthony’s Medical Center will add:

• A four-story hospital addition — A new surgery and patient care tower will be constructed on the south side of St. Anthony’s Medical Center immediately adjacent to the Heart and Ambulatory Care Building.

The facility will contain fully integrated cardiology and cardiovascular services and, in effect, serve as a “heart hospital within a hospital,” offering the latest in medical technology and patient-centered care within a single location. In addition, St. Anthony’s accredited Chest Pain Center will be located in the new facility and a new surgical intensive care unit will be constructed for those patients recovering from complex surgical procedures. The four-story addition also will include 24 new flexible operating room suites, designated areas for outpatient surgery and recovery, and 90 private acute-care beds.

• A new pediatric emergency department — In conjunction with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, St. Anthony’s will open a separate, 10,000-square-foot Pediatric Emergency Department immediately adjacent to its main emergency department.

The new facility will include 13 pediatric treatment rooms and three 23-hour observation rooms. It will replace a smaller, eight-bed pediatric unit now within the emergency department. The relationship with Cardinal Glennon, which began in 2003, has enabled St. Anthony’s to offer and expand premier pediatric services on campus, including emergency care, neonatology services and specialized pediatric clinical care.

• A hospital redesign — Major enhancements will be made to several areas throughout the medical center, including a complete redesign of an orthopedic and neurology-spinal nursing floor so that private rooms are larger and better equipped for accessibility.

Rehabilitation therapy services also will be located on the same level instead of on a separate floor. The hospital inpatient dialysis unit will be relocated and upgraded, as will older operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs and interventional radiology units.

“Everything we have planned in our redesign creates flexible space — that is, our patient rooms, operating suites and clinical areas are specifically designed to be adjustable as changing demographics and patient needs dictate,” Rockers stated. “As leaders in the non-teaching, private, tertiary care hospital industry, we are among the first to apply the flexible design concept to this extent throughout an entire hospital.”

St. Anthony’s is working with Cannon Design, an international architectural, engineering and planning firm with offices in St. Louis, to develop the flexible design. McCarthy Building Companies Inc., a national health-care builder, will provide general contracting services.

The bulk of construction and renovation costs — $70 million — will be covered by issuing health facilities revenue bonds through the Health and Educational Facilities Authority of the state of Missouri.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services recently assigned an A+ rating on the Series 2006A-B bonds, citing a positive financial outlook for St. Anthony’s. The hospital has reserves to handle the remaining $20 million in anticipated construction costs.

St. Anthony’s will not have any disruptions in patient care during the construction period. As new facilities are built, programs will be moved to those locations before other hospital renovations get under way.

In the past 12 years, St. Anthony’s has experienced tremendous growth. From 2000 to 2005, the hospital saw a 27 percent increase in inpatient admissions. In 1994, in response to a growing demand for services and a rising number of primary care and specialty care physicians in the south St. Louis region, St. Anthony’s opened a new Medical Office Building and Out-patient Surgery Center.

In 2000, it added a comprehensive Cancer Center and opened the Fern & Russell F. de Greeff Hospice House, the only non-profit residential care facility in the Mid-west for terminally ill patients. In 2002, St. Anthony’s opened the Heart and Ambulatory Services Center.