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‘Like a hotel room’: Patients wowed by LCM’s new building

Dr. Subash Arorlooks over Logan Bailey room Special Care Unit Family Birth Center  Little Company Mary's new West PaviliEvergreen

Dr. Subash Arora looks over Logan Bailey in a room in the Special Care Unit of the Family Birth Center at Little Company of Mary's new West Pavilion in Evergreen Park, IL on Wednesday October 24, 2012. Logan is the first baby to have been brought into the center from the old hospital. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 26, 2012 7:14AM



Glancing around her room Wednesday in a new patient building at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Peggy Noonan smiled.

“This is like a hotel room,” the Homer Glen woman said.

She likes the spaciousness, the wood panels on the wall, the faux wood flooring. The huge bathroom and queen-size bed also are nice, she said.

Noonan was the first of 75 patients who were relocated Wednesday into the hospital’s new West Pavilion, a 300,000-square-foot building at 2800 W. 95th St. that features 118 private rooms and baths. It is replacing the hospital’s distinctive, yet aging, patient tower.

The pavilion is the largest construction project in the 82-year history of the nonprofit Catholic community hospital.

Moving the patients, their medical records and belongings was finished by 2 p.m., officials said. No glitches were reported.

For Noonan, who had gastric bypass surgery Monday and may be going home Thursday, the move was as easy as sitting in a wheelchair and being whisked from her old room to her new room.

“It is beautiful. It’s like going to a hotel room,” she said, noting a 42-inch TV that would have been ideal for watching the Bears play Monday night.

Her old room was “clean but dated,” she said.

“It was so warm. You couldn’t control the temperature. Now there’s a thermostat, and for me, that’s a lifesaver,” Noonan said.

Her husband, Jack Noonan, who had the same surgery in the same hospital two years ago, also likes the new surroundings.

“This room is a lot better. I was in the old, old section. The TV was tiny and had wires hanging off it,” he said.

Registered nurse Dawn Girard thinks the new rooms will improve patients’ outlooks.

“It’s very conducive to healing. More of a homey environment, definitely,” Girard said.

That was one of the goals, said Jane Sullivan, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services.

“The idea is to have private rooms and private bathrooms for infection control. We’ve always had that in the South Pavilion, and now the whole (hospital) will have it. That’s the trend,” Sullivan said.

A sink just inside the door of each room lends itself to the goal to control infections.

“We ask the patients that if they don’t see someone wash there hands, to ask them to,” Sullivan said. “We’re very big on that.”

Satellite phones are stationed around each floor so nurses can quickly get information they need from the main desk on the floor. Electrical outlets behind patient beds are “ergonomically” correct, higher than normal so nurses and doctors can save the strain on their backs from bending down.

Each room has a day bed with a table that can be raised for card playing or working, or it can serve as a guest bed.

In the bathrooms, the showers have no threshold for patients to trip over.

“The reaction has been wonderful,” Sullivan said. ”Some guy came through (during an open house) and asked if he could make a reservation. Another man asked his doctor if his surgery could be delayed until the new building was ready. ... I hope it wasn’t emergency surgery.”

Lena Bailey, of Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood, was the first new mother brought to the new building. She gave birth Monday to her son, Logan Roosevelt Bailey.

“I was scheduled to be induced (Thursday) and they told me I’d be in the building with the baby. But Mother Nature told me to come here Monday,” she said. “I like it here. The rooms are more spacious. I love the bathroom. The shower is convenient because I had a Cesarean and I can walk right in.”

Sullivan is glad the two-year, $180 million project is complete and patients finally are inside.

“This is about our commitment to the community,” Sullivan said. “Silver Cross and Elmhurst (hospitals) moved to different ZIP codes. Children’s (Hospital) moved downtown. The sisters (who run Little Company of Mary) said they are committed to staying here. To me, that’s huge.”



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