Hospital construction booming across the country

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If you build it, they will come. At least that's what it looks like given the amount of construction projects on tap at hospitals across the country.

After assessing the area's population and healthcare market needs over the next decade, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey launched a $90 million expansion project that will feature a family birthing center, a new entrance, and a cancer therapy and wellness project when it opens in the winter of 2016, NorthJersey.com reports.

"The population is not growing but aging more rapidly than the rest of the country," Warren Geller, president and CEO of Englewood Hospital, told the publication. "And people over 65 are 10 times more likely to get cancer."

And like other North Jersey hospitals undergoing renovations and expansions, Englewood expects the demand for outpatient services to grow by 80 percent over the next 10 years, Geller said.

"We're playing catch-up, to a degree, with our new hospital construction," Kerry McKean Kelly, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Hospital Association, told NorthJersey.com. "A lot of this construction and expansion is also in response to the changing nature of healthcare. We don't need the same number of inpatient hospital beds that we have in the past, but there is a demand for more capacity in outpatient settings, emergency departments, birth centers and other types of specialized services."

In central Ohio, several factors are driving the need for hospital facelifts, hospital executives told Columbus CEO--a growing population, increasing service demand, advancing science and patient satisfaction.

For example, at Mount Carmel St. Ann in Westerville, patients and visitors who enter the new main entrance will see a concierge desk, coffee café and a 40-foot stone fireplace that gives "an aura of warmth and compassion," Janet Meeks, the hospital's president and chief operating officer, told Columbus CEO. The $120 million expansion also includes a new patient tower with 60 beds and an integrated cardiovascular center.

The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City plans a $250 million expansion project on nearby property that will house a 92-bed facility for neuroscience and surgical oncology patients. There is no timetable for the project, as the hospital is still raising funds to pay for it but when it opens, hospital President Bob Page told Fox 4 News it will hire 100 new doctors and have 600 new patient care job openings.

But the expansion is only one of many construction projects at the University of Kansas Hospital. Since 2011, it has invested $186 million in new facilities and renovations, a $40 million project is near completion, and last year it finished a $10 million apartment project, according to The Kansas City Star.

This week East Tennessee Children's Hospital will announce plans for a $75 million dollar expansion, according to WBIR.com. The new, five-story building will be built across the street from the hospital's current location and will feature a new 44-bed, private room neonatal intensive care unit, a perioperative surgery center, two levels of parking and enhanced family areas.

And preliminary work just started on a $40 million expansion project at Maine Medical Center in Portland, the Forecaster reports. The 30,000-square-foot addition will create five new operating rooms and 20 perioperative spaces for patient prep and recovery.

To learn more:
- read the Columbus CEO article
- here's the article from Fox 4 News
- check out the Kansas City Star piece
- here's the article from WBIR.com
-
read the Forecaster report
- see the NorthJersey.com piece

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