Mercy co-workers and community members gathered Monday in the soaring gallery of Mercy’s new hospital tower to usher in a new era of care that includes enhanced cardiac services, expanded neonatal intensive care unit and additional hospital beds.
Mercy invested $141 million in the seven-story tower as part of a $277 million expansion announced in April 2016 that also included Mercy Springdale, a multispecialty clinic with a 24-hour ER, and six other new clinics. Visitors to the 279,000-square foot addition on the hospital’s west side will enter through the new 9,500-square foot gallery space.
Some important features of the new tower include:
· The McMillon Family Heart Unit, featuring 36 inpatient beds, state-of-the-art nurses’ stations, family consultation rooms, friends and family waiting areas, children’s playroom and conference room.
· Expanded neonatal intensive care unit with 13 private rooms, including two specialized rooms for families welcoming multiple children.
· Expanded pediatric unit totaling 14 pediatric beds that will enable Mercy to double the number of children served annually from 1,000 to more than 2,000.
· Phase 1 addition of nearly 70 hospital beds with a future build out on shelled out floors totaling 140 beds.
· Endoscopy suite with three gastrointestinal procedure rooms and room for expansion
· Hybrid operating room that enables advanced heart procedures.
· New equipment, including a GE Revolution computed tomography (CT) scanner for advanced imaging, especially in cardiology and neurology.
· Expansion of numerous support services including space for pharmacy, laboratory, central sterile facilities, materials management, patient registration and café.
"It's wonderful to be with you today in this beautiful space as we celebrate the past, present and future of care with the Sisters of Mercy,” said hospital President Eric Pianalto. “We bless this space and the caregivers who work within it because we believe they are truly an extension of the healing hand of Jesus going back to Catherine McAuley's founding of our ministry in 1831."
Monday marks the anniversary of McAuley's passing on Nov. 11, 1841, when she entrusted her ministry to sisters she had helped train and worked alongside.
"One of our favorite quotations of Catherine's is to be good today but better tomorrow," Pianalto said. "We take her advice to heart today, tomorrow and the day after that. We strive to be continually better in the memory of our foundress and the sisters who carried on her vision."
Evidence of Mercy’s dedication to continuous improvement includes recent recognitions. Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas was among three Mercy hospitals to be named a Top 100 Hospital nationally by IBM Watson Health. In addition, on Thursday, The Leapfrog Group announced that Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas was among just four hospitals in the state to receive an A grade in the group’s evaluation of safety as measured by outcomes such as preventing medical errors, infections and other patient harm.
Special guests making remarks at Monday’s blessing included U.S. Sen. John Boozman, U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Rogers Mayor Greg Hines, and Monsignor David LeSieur of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers.
Hines said that in his work regarding economic development, employers looking at the area emphasize the need for a focus on quality of life issues, including excellent health care services.
“How fortunate we are that Mercy has the faith in Northwest Arkansas to make such a big commitment,” he said.
Mercy leaders acknowledged donors to Mercy Health Foundation’s Opening Doors capital campaign, who have contributed $20 million to date to the tower and clinic projects.
“We’re so grateful to all of our donors for their generosity in helping us open doors for a community in need of greater access to care,” said Clark Ellison, vice president of Mercy Health Foundation.
The expansion in health care facilities and services comes with the creation of 1,000 new health care jobs, including at least 100 providers.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems from 2016 to 2019 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients from coast to coast.