MAYWOOD, Ill.--Loyola University Health System, a 505-bed academic medical center in suburban Chicago, said it will spend $103 million to add 175,000 square feet to its Loyola University Medical Center and renovate 60,000 square feet, adding 64 private, inpatient rooms, 12 new operating rooms, an open MRI suite, enhanced cardiac catheterization laboratories and improved patient access. The five-floor addition will house the hospital's Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine. At a Dec. 13 groundbreaking ceremony held beneath a heated tent, Loyola President and CEO Anthony Barbato said the hospital had been operating at capacity for years. "That's why the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board granted our certificate-of-need application for extra beds so quickly," Barbato said. "And it will double our operating room capacity." Barbato said Loyola will raise the money through bond debt, cash from operations and a philanthropic campaign. The project is scheduled for a July 2009 completion. Loyola reported net income of $12.7 million in fiscal 2005, which ended June 30, on total patient revenue of $694.4 million, according to hospital figures.
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--St. Joseph Regional Medical Center said earlier this month that it plans to break ground in 2006 on a $355 million medical campus in Mishawaka, Ind. The system, part of Trinity Health, will consolidate two of its three hospitals into a new 254-bed hospital and medical campus. St. Joseph will convert its existing 95-bed hospital in Mishawaka to rehabilitation and long-term-care services and shut down its 283-bed hospital in South Bend, but maintain medical offices and clinics in the city. The project was announced in 2002 but delayed by a leadership change, said St. Joseph spokesman Michael Stack.
CHICAGO--University of Chicago Hospitals said it is in the early conceptual phase of plans to build a $500 million hospital pavilion next to its existing hospitals, expanding its current capacity by one-third. The health system and the university boards and the state certificate-of-need board would have to approve the plans. System spokesman John Easton said the project would expand inpatient bed capacity, operating rooms, equipment and other services. In a news release, system President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Riordan said, "Our immediate goal will be to design a facility that is as innovative as the activity inside, a building so extraordinarily flexible that renovation, redeployment and re-equipping of space can be accomplished economically and with minimal disruption to ongoing operations."
WICHITA, Kan.--Via Christi Health System signed a letter of intent to sell 97-bed Oklahoma Regional Medical Center, Ponca City, to Community Health Systems. Terms weren't disclosed. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter. Via Christi, a seven-hospital Catholic system, announced in August its intent to sell the hospital in order to direct its capital and management resources to other areas. Community, based in Brentwood, Tenn., operates 71 hospitals in rural and non-urban areas in 21 states. This past summer, Via Christi won state approval for a $22 million deal to sell its only California hospital, St. Rose Hospital, in Hayward (Aug. 1, p. 17).
MADISON, Wis.--The Wisconsin Hospital Association will "redouble its efforts" to limit noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases after a state bill that would do so was vetoed earlier this month by Gov. Jim Doyle, WHA President Steve Brenton said. The bill vetoed Dec. 2 would have capped noneconomic damages at $450,000 for adults and $550,000 for minors. The state Supreme Court in July struck down as unconstitutional an existing cap of $445,775, with adjustments for inflation. In a letter to legislators, Doyle argued that the court would "almost certainly" find the new cap unconstitutional because "it ignores one of the court's major concerns--that caps `cannot be set unreasonably low.' " Brenton said the WHA will work with the governor and legislators to establish a higher cap. "We're relatively optimistic that a cap of under $1 million will enjoy overwhelming legislative support and likely be signed by the governor," Brenton said.