New Christ medical tower opens to the public
By Steve Metsch email@example.com March 31, 2014 10:16PM
A color coded directory at Christ Medical Center's Outpatient Pavilion's elevators guides visitors. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 2, 2014 6:33AM
Glancing around Christ Medical Center’s $202 million Outpatient Pavilion Monday morning, state Sen. Bill Cunningham discussed the medical treatment that he has witnessed there.
Speaking at the grand opening ceremony for the eight-story building, he noted being there for the birth of a child and the outstanding care given his mother and father-in-law. He then had a special request, wondering if Christ doctors happened to be “working on a cure for baldness.”
That joke evoked much laughter, and while no such cure is available for the bald-headed Cunningham, hospital officials assured the public that they will enjoy the latest in medical advancements and treatments at the new pavilion.
“I appreciate the work you do. Christ hospital is the single biggest nongovernmental employer in my district, so what is important to Christ Hospital is important to me. I look forward to being your advocate in Springfield,” said Cunningham, D-Chicago.
At 95th Street and Kilbourn Avenue, on the southwest edge of the sprawling hospital complex, the Outpatient Pavilion is the latest reminder of the continual growth of the medical center.
Christ president Ken Lukhard said it was a “joy to share this moment with each of you, just a joy.”
The pavilion houses three special institutes for cancer, neurosciences and heart and vascular along with 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms and seven GI/endoscopy procedure areas.
There’s a new PET/CTG scan that offers tumor tracking. Included on the ground floor is the only Southland site for Gilda’s Club, a national organization that offers support for cancer patients and survivors.
There also are amenities such as a retail pharmacy, a tracking board that keeps families informed of loved ones undergoing surgery, MRI caring suites and a courtyard cafe. Free parking is available in a new garage that’s connected by a covered pedestrian bridge that spans Kilbourn Avenue.
Dean Govostis, president of the medical staff at Christ, noted how the new building was visible to many driving on 95th Street “like a beacon. It’s not just a shiny new building, it’s a beacon of medical care.”
On the sixth floor, Gina Roache, executive director of the Heart & Vascular Institute, said an expanded exercise room, which includes stationary bicycles and treadmills, will help heart patients recover faster. They formerly had 500 square feet and now have 2,600 square feet for their exercise room, she said.
Village Trustee Terry Vorderer (4th) called the medical center a “driving force” that is helping make Oak Lawn a “world-class city.” He said he has been impressed by what he has seen on previous tours of the building.
And on Friday, Vorderer will have firsthand knowledge of what it means for patients when he returns for a minor medical procedure.
“Now you know I really like this place,” he said jokingly.