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St. Joe's breaks ground on expansion

The emergency services building also will include a new data center, equipped to provide for fast recovery and business continuity in the event of a disaster. The emergency services building is expected to be completed by summer of 2011.

Private Patient Rooms Are the Future of Health Care

The next part of St. Joseph's expansion will construct a new operating room suite, a larger, 38-bed intensive care unit and private patient rooms. Two new 33,000-square-foot, 36-bed medical surgical units will be created. Each will consist entirely of private rooms, allowing patients to recover surrounded only by their own family and friends.

"Private patient rooms are the wave of the future in health care," said Mary Clare Ehde, manager of patient relations. "Not only does the law require us to maintain patient privacy, but a quiet, private environment is shown to help facilitate faster, healthier recoveries. It also helps to reduce spread of infection."

St. Joseph's existing OR Suite will be replaced with 48,000-square-foot, 14-room new construction. This will allow patients to prepare for, receive and recover from surgery with minimal transport or interruption. The expansion also provides more patient care and support space for the ever-increasing technology available to surgeons in the operating room and support future growth, if needed.

Finally, a new kitchen will be constructed that will support a room service model throughout the hospital.

Going for Green

St. Joseph's expansion not only will meet the needs of patients and community, but also will demonstrate the hospital's environmental commitment. The project, which will seek the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) "silver" rating, will be the largest green healthcare construction project in upstate New York. It also advances the green infrastructure initiatives set forth by the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the plan includes a green roof, green data center, solar panels, daylighting views, energy conserving systems, a greenway park, site drainage, and underground water and storm water infrastructure, all of which will reduce the hospital's energy costs. Additionally, these features are aimed at maximizing the sustainability of the new St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center and ensuring that every impact on current and future generations is a positive one.

Financing the Project

St. Joseph's is financing the expansion project in several ways. It has received an inducement of $177 million for tax exempt bonding from the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation, a local development corporation recently formed by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. The Corporation has the authority to assist not-for-profit organizations that undertake economic development projects by the Onondaga County Legislature. The remainder of the investment will come from hospital reserves, as well as a capital campaign.

For more information on St. Joseph's programs and services, call the Resource Line at 315-703-2138 or 1-888-STJOES1.

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