Groundbreaking ceremony held for new ICU


Photo by Dave Boyd
Officials from Mountain States Health Alliance gathered with state and local government officials and community leaders to break ground on Tuesday for the ICU expansion project at the Johnson City Medical Center.

From Staff Reports
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the Johnson City Medical Center for the expansion of the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
"There has been a need for more critical care beds at JCMC due to the increase of tertiary services over the years in the heart, transplant and trauma cases performed here," said Dennis Vonderfecht, president and chief executive officer of Mountain States Health Alliance, of which the JCMC is a part. "This expansion will not only help meet those needs but also continue our patient-centered care initiative with many of the special features we are incorporating into this new ICU at JCMC."
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by dignitaries from the region, including government officials and community leaders as well as MSHA board members and physicians.
Over the past five years, JCMC adult ICU days have increased 23.6 percent; Wings Air Rescue flight services have increased 23.4 percent; the number of heart surgery patients at the hospital has increased 24.7 percent; the number of transplant cases has increased by 74.1 percent; and the number of acute admissions patients from outside Tennessee to the hospital has increased 65.5 percent, according to information from MSHA.
The expansion of the ICU is expected to be completed in March of 2005. The cost for the expansion is estimated at $32.6 million.
The 12 new ICU beds which will be housed in the expansion are not additional beds to the MSHA facilities in Johnson City, but are part of the 54 beds which are being transferred from North Side Hospital to the JCMC. Of those beds, 12 have been designated for the neonatal intensive care unit expansion, 30 for adult step-down beds and the remaining 12 beds for the renovated ICU.
Numerous Patient-Centered Care initiatives will be incorporated into the new ICU at the hospital, including large windows in patient rooms with a view of the mountains, an open-air atrium called The Healing Garden which will be filled with lush greenery and will be situated near the family waiting room, larger ICU rooms with space and furnishings to enable family members to stay with patients around the clock and a waiting room with more amenities to families and guests of the ICU patients to help lessen stress during a medical crisis.