Palms West Hospital celebrated the topping out of its fourth-floor east wing addition with a party Tuesday attended by numerous local well-wishers.
Newly appointed CEO Eric Goldman welcomed attendees, including founding CEO Mike Pugh, who had the forethought to build a hospital decades ago with an infrastructure that would support a fourth floor.
When he first came to the area in 1998 as chief operating officer of Columbia Hospital, Goldman said he wondered why Palms West Hospital had been built out in the middle of nowhere.
“All of these wonderful municipalities have grown around this area,” he said. “It’s spectacular to be part of all of these communities.”
The $16 million project will take the hospital from 175 beds in 225,000 square feet to 204 beds with an additional 29,000 square feet. Some of the medical surgery beds will move to the new floor and tie back into the labor and delivery unit in the west tower for better continuity.
“It also includes renovation and expansion of our front pediatric unit where our existing complement of 24 beds will be expanded to 38,” Goldman said.
The project will also add two pediatric intensive-care unit beds to bring it to a total of 10. Adult intensive care will have four telemetry beds converted to adult intensive-care beds to increase the number to 18. The lab will also be expanded to accommodate the additional beds.
The project should be completed in March 2013.
“We’ve got a very aggressive schedule, but our contractor has promised us that they will be up to that task, and we will be pushing to move that up if possible in preparation for next season,” Goldman said.
When the project is finished, there will be 58 miles of wiring in the building. “That reaches us to Fort Lauderdale International Airport,” Goldman said. “We will have another 200 tons of concrete and another 200 tons of steel in this structure.”
Goldman credited the success of the hospital to the hard work of its staff.
Chairman of the Board Dr. Carmine Priore said he was in the area when the hospital first opened in 1986 and has enjoyed watching the hospital grow with the community.
“I’ve always said as we’ve matured, if you build a hospital and emphasize children and children’s care, the parents and the grandparents will come, and they will continue to come; but that’s because of the effort on the part of you, the staff members, and the doctors here that have made this a great hospital,” Priore said.