SEYMOUR, Ind.Schneck Medical Center finished construction of 84,000 square feet of new space, nearly doubling the size of the facility. The expansion is part of a $65 million project, funded with bonds and cash reserves, that includes ongoing renovation of the facilitys remaining 90,000 square feet and a cancer center that opened in 2007. A new outpatient wing includes a pain center, same-day surgery suites, laboratory services and diagnostic imaging with a separate area catering to women. The expanded emergency department features larger trauma rooms, two pediatric exam rooms, an enclosed ambulance garage, decontamination room and fast-track area. The hospital, which now staffs 96 inpatient beds and another 20 beds in the surgery suites, serves the mostly agricultural communities of Jackson County and the city of Seymour, which has a population of approximately 18,000.
WINFIELD, Ill.A second Illinois organization got a certificate of need to build a proton therapy center from the states Health Facilities Planning Board. In a partnership with Bloomington, Ind.-based ProCure Treatment Centers, 337-bed Central DuPage Hospital in the Chicago suburb of Winfield plans to build a 58,000-square-foot facility in nearby Warrenville, Ill., expected to cost $140 million and open in 2011. The planning board members in April had signaled they would reject the project, in part because in February they had voted to allow Northern Illinois University, a state institution based in DeKalb, to build a proton therapy facility about six miles from the Central DuPage site. Later, members expressed concern whether NIU would be able to satisfy the 24-month building time frame it committed to in order to win a certificate of exemption rather than a CON. Gary Mack, a spokesman for NIUs planned Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center, said the university was disappointed and surprised by the boards change of heart. NIU is on time, on track, on budget and moving ahead, Mack said. Currently only five proton therapy centers are in operation in the U.S., although several others are planned.
MARSHFIELD, Wis.Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announced the formation of the Wisconsin Genomics Initiative, a collaborative research effort between the Marshfield Clinic; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Medicine and Public Health; and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Doyle said the initiative could lead to the ability to predict who might develop a particular disease and how patients would respond to specific treatments. He said that the research would not focus solely on treatment of disease but also prevention and better management of chronic conditions. At the heart of the initiative is Marshfields Personalized Medicine Research Project, which contains DNA samples collected from some 20,000 volunteers and Marshfields databank containing 29 years worth of electronically stored patient medical histories. Doyles announcement coincided with the opening of Marshfield Clinics Laird Center for Medical Research, named after former U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, who, as a congressman from Wisconsin in the 1950s, co-authored legislation funding the construction of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md. Now 86, and the uncle of Doyles wife, Jessica, Laird attended the news conference announcing the initiative and praised the work done by the doctors and nurses at Marshfield Clinic.
CHICAGORush University Medical Center has broken ground on a 14-floor, $575 million hospital building on its downtown campus. Three floors will use an interventional platform that supports surgery, imaging and specialty procedures. The upper floors will include 304 acute- and intensive-care beds, 72 neonatal ICU beds and 10 labor and delivery suites. The ground floor will house the McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response to plan for and respond to mass casualty events; the emergency department will be twice the size of Rushs current one in order to provide surge capacity. The new hospital, expected to open in 2012, is part of a $900 million campus redevelopment funded with operating capital, bonds and donations. When the campus project is complete, Rush plans to have a total of 720 beds in new or renovated space, compared with its current 676 staffed beds.