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Aurora BayCare to add bed tower

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Expansion brings much-needed birthing suites, ICU beds to hospital

Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic today announced plans for a bed tower expansion project that will add 35 patient rooms at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

“We have experienced increasing need for additional birthing suites and intensive care beds,” said Linda Smith, administrator at Aurora BayCare and executive vice president of Aurora Health Care’s North Region. “We are pleased to be able to address these needs with this project.”

Site work in preparation for the $30 million project will begin this week, with actual construction set to begin in February 2005. The project is expected to be completed in late 2005. The expansion also will add a hyperbaric oxygen treatment chamber for use in treating wounds, toxicology problems and infectious diseases.

The expansion will be on the hospital’s southwest side, replacing the current one-story ambulance bay with a four-story tower that will include a new trauma/ambulance entrance on the ground level. The second and third stories will each have 12 additional intensive care beds. The Women’s Center will add 11 birthing suites on the fourth floor of the new tower, which will connect in an L-shape to the current building.

The number of births at The Women’s Center at Aurora BayCare has steadily increased since the hospital opened in September 2001.

“The growth in the number of deliveries at The Women’s Center is greater than we anticipated,” said Michael Kincheloe, M.D., an Aurora OB/GYN physician. “To maintain the level of care and comfort in our unit, we need to provide more space for our new moms and their families.

“The Women’s Center is the only local facility with dedicated birthing suites and in-room whirlpools to add that special touch for delivery and recovery. All this, combined with the latest technological advances and 24-hour in-house neonatologists, provides that added level of comfort.”

The 24 additional ICU beds will provide hospital officials with greater flexibility in admitting patients. The area will be set up primarily as an ICU, but with the option of being used for less critical inpatient needs.

As part of an expansion project that began in September, an additional six beds are being added in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The NICU, which partners with Children’s Specialty Group, a joint venture of Children’s Hospital and Health System and the Medical College of Wisconsin, provides on-site, around-the-clock care for low-birthweight babies, babies born prematurely and other critical-care newborns.

“The confidence that area residents have placed in our physicians and this hospital has created a demand for services greater than what we can currently meet,” said Jeff Mason, chief executive officer of BayCare Clinic. “Our commitment to providing patient-focused care while using the latest in technology has made a difference to our patients.”

Aurora BayCare Medical Center opened in September 2001 with 108 licensed beds. An expansion project in 2002 added 18 beds. When the latest expansion project is complete, there will be 167 beds.

This project also will include an expansion of the hospital’s food and nutrition services area and extra pre-operative and post-surgical space in the ambulatory surgery center.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites in more than 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

BayCare Clinic comprises more than 90 physicians representing 19 medical and surgical specialties. As northeastern Wisconsin’s largest independent physician-owned organization, BayCare is dedicated to providing patient choice and high quality care.

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Contact:  Jay Faherty (920-445-2163)

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