TAMPA, Fla., July 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- To help enhance the region's resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, BayCare has expedited the opening of a new patient tower at St. Joseph's Hospital, providing more capacity to serve patients.
Earlier today, St. Joseph's received approval from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to open 30 rooms for patient care in the new facility, which is connected to the hospital on several floors. The tower's remaining 60 new rooms are expected to be available in coming weeks.
"As the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has increased, so has the need for hospitalization of the sickest patients," said hospital President Kimberly Guy. "At the same time, those who need surgery or medical care for other issues still count on us for their care."
"Fortunately, we began a major expansion more than two years ago. Now, we're able to open some rooms about a month ahead of schedule, which will make room for us to serve additional patients if needed."
Today the hospital opened the fifth floor of the new tower, which can accommodate 30 orthopedic and neurological patients. Moving these patients to the new rooms frees up space in the main hospital to create additional COVID-dedicated rooms, if the number of patients continues to rise.
With the opening of patient rooms a priority, work continues on other areas like the lobby and classrooms. Once fully open, the new, $126 million seven-story tower will include:
Three patient care floors with 30 private patient rooms each
Two-story lobby with drive-up front entrance, as well as waiting and on-call rooms
One floor for mechanical support
Connection to the existing main tower at floors 1, 2, 5 and the basement
An elevated pedestrian bridge that connects St. Joseph's Hospital to St. Joseph's Women's Hospital across Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
"We're grateful for the collaboration with elected officials and agencies that made this early opening possible," Guy said. "On the state level, the Agency for Health Care Administration recognized the importance of this effort and has prioritized inspections allowing us to open when each floor is deemed safe and ready for patient care.
"Locally, the City of Tampa and Mayor Jane Castor have made accommodations to ensure just-in-time inspections that fast-tracked our efforts to serve our community in the midst of this pandemic."
The expansion of St. Joseph's Hospital was built to provide more private patient rooms to update the facility that first opened at this location in 1967. The hospital broke ground on the project April 17, 2018, and the pedestrian bridge was placed Dec. 14, 2019. The remainder of the construction is expected to be completed by mid-September 2020.
About St. Joseph's Hospital St. Joseph's Hospital, part of the BayCare Health System, is known for advanced medical technology and compassionate care. Its Centers of Excellence include the Heart Institute, Cancer Institute, Stroke and Neuroscience Program, Robotic Surgery Program and Emergency/Trauma Departments, which treats more patients than any other hospital in the Tampa Bay region. More than 70 specialties are represented among the medical staff, from internal medicine to cardiology, neurology to surgery. The hospital was founded in 1934 by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.
About BayCare BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and west central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org
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