CarolinaEast Health System is making the largest expansion and renovation project in the medical provider’s 50-year history.
The expansion includes women’s services, the emergency department and surgical enhancements for the health system. The cost over a five-year period is $64 million.
The most visible change will be the new three-story tower that will be built to the right of the existing main entrance. The new space will allow for the complete renovation and expansion of women’s and children’s services on the second floor.
“Our new mothers, our children and women in need of gynecological care deserve modern and comfortable surroundings,” said Dr. Kristi English Brown, of Eastern Carolina Women’s Center.
The new women’s and children’s health pavilion will be located in existing patient care areas that will be renovated and modernized to accommodate the special needs of the patients, according to a release. The pediatric care unit will relocate from the third floor and be adjacent to the women’s and infant care area.
Hospital officials say the first floor of the new tower will house administrative offices and public spaces while the third floor will be home to an expanded clinical laboratory, freeing up existing space to accommodate additional emergency department growth.
Leslie Allen, vice president of facilities and safety for CarolinaEast, explained that planning and precise choreography must be in place for the work to flow smoothly with minimal inconvenience with no impact on operations.
“We are going to experience some growing pains,” Allen said.
There will be more than 38,000 square feet of new construction and more than 72,000 square feet.
The emergency department expansion and renovation is designed to solve congestion problems in the area and increase patient privacy.
“We see approximately 75,000 patients each year in our emergency department and Express Care,” said Dr. Vivek Parwani, the hospital’s medical director for emergency services. “This area was designed to see half that number. An expansion is mandatory if we are going to continue to meet the growing demand for services in the uncertain future of our industry.”
Plans include two new replacement operating suites for general and cardiovascular surgery and the relocation of the post-operative patient care area to the second floor of the new tower.
Outside, the parking lot is to be reconfigured, and a hallway will be constructed across the front of the building to connect the current main entrance to the existing patient registration entrance. The existing patient registration entrance will eventually become the emergency department entrance.
Before groundbreaking can occur, a Certificate of Need must be filed with the state in June, followed by the development of detailed construction documents after the state’s approval. The entire expansion and renovation will be funded through cash reserves and revenue, according to a release.
“The one constant in health care today is change,” said Ray Leggett, president and CEO of CarolinaEast Health System. “And, we must keep pace with that change both fiscally and physically.
“This enhancement in our physical plant, while complex and costly, is necessary in order for us to continue to provide our community with the quality, efficient and comfortable care they deserve and have come to expect from us for the past 50 years.”