January 31, 2011

MD News features St. John Medical Center modernization and expansion

In September 2010, University Hospitals and the Sisters of Charity Health System jointly announced a five-year, $100-million strategic plan for St. John Medical Center that includes the modernization and expansion of the then 29-year-old facility.

Read more about this in a feature story published by MD News on January 31, 2011, or by checking out the original announcement included below.

$100 million strategic plan announced for St. John Medical Center

Officials from St. John Medical Center, University Hospitals and the Sisters of Charity Health System have jointly announced a five-year, $100-million strategic plan for St. John Medical Center that includes the modernization and expansion of the 29-year-old facility.

The plan includes a comprehensive assessment of the medical center and its environment, as well as strengthening of its vision and market share. "This is the foundation of our strategic plan," says Cliff J. Coker, President of St. John Medical Center. "It is a unique opportunity to build upon our strengths to better meet the needs of those we serve."

As part of an agreement announced earlier this year, both the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals are making equal investments in the strategic expansion and growth of St. John Medical Center. University Hospitals serves as the operating manager of the West Side medical center. The Sisters of Charity Health System remain a 50 percent owner of the medical center and serve as its religious sponsor. The medical center remains a Catholic health care provider.

"This plan heralds in a 'new era' for St. John Medical Center as it continues the legacy of Catholic health care," says Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, President and CEO, Sisters of Charity of Health System. "We remain committed to enhancing the medical center's already strong position on Cleveland's West Side and continue to work with University Hospitals on taking the medical center to higher levels of success."

"University Hospitals is responsible for the strategic planning and investment as approved by the board to ensure that the initiatives enhance the quality of services provided at St. John Medical Center," says Thomas Zenty III, Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals. "We join the Sisters of Charity Health System in supporting the vision to further strengthen the position of St. John Medical Center as the premier health care provider on Cleveland's West Side."

The new plan will more closely align St. John Medical Center with University Hospitals' centers of excellence and institutes, including its nationally ranked UH Case Medical Center, UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital; UH Ireland Cancer Center, and the UH Westlake Health Center.

Input on St. John Medical Center's strategic plan included the leadership of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals, administration from St. John Medical Center, and 30 physicians affiliated with St. John Medical Center. The plan includes a comprehensive five-year outline for facility growth, acquiring new technology, improving financial performance, aligning physicians, growing service lines and volumes, enhancing quality and patient satisfaction, developing marketing and branding initiatives, and expanding community benefits.

The plan features a significant investment in updating St. John Medical Center's facilities and infrastructure, providing needed modernization to the medical center that was built in 1981. Included are:

· Renovation to the front entrance, main lobby, outpatient entrance and common areas;

· Expanded parking;

· A phased-in renovation of all patient rooms;

· Upgrades to surgery, including expanded pre- and post-surgery areas; 15-bed post anesthesia recovery unit (PACU); and four new large operating rooms. The upgrades will improve efficiencies, increase capacity, and provide larger rooms to accommodate equipment required for complex cases;

· A new 12-bed Clinical Decision Unit;

· An expanded imaging area to accommodate new technology and growth;

· A new, non-invasive lab area for Biometrics;

· Cardiovascular expansion;

· New and expanded space for endoscopy; and

· Expanded space for a dedicated Breast Health Center.

In addition to these facility enhancements, another multi-million dollar investment is targeted for the purchase of state-of-the-art surgical and imaging equipment. Plans include the opening of a new Interventional Radiology Suite later this year, the purchase of a CT scanner in 2011, and a new MRI in the next three to four years.

Another significant investment is designated toward growing a St. John Medical Center site for the Ireland Cancer Center, which consistently ranks among the top 25 cancer centers in the country.

Another investment is targeted toward the redesign of on-campus outpatient space, in response to the anticipated needs for diagnostic, pain management, neurological institute and urology services.

The strategic plan also includes proposals to grow volume and service lines by expanding the SJMC Primary Care Physician Network, increasing the number of specialty physicians, and growing services in cancer, cardiovascular, orthopedics, women and children's services, neurosciences, urology, pain management and geriatrics.

"Ultimately, we intend to be the provider of choice in our service area by delivering the highest quality care and the best patient experience," says Coker, who cited recent independent reports ranking the hospital as one of the best community hospitals in the country. "Thanks to our loyal physicians and dedicated employees and volunteers, we are well on our way."

With 189 staffed beds, the St. John Medical Center campus offers easy access from I-90 and I-480 and serves the growing eastern Lorain County communities of North Ridgeville, Avon and Avon Lake. Nearly 600 physicians are on the medical staff of the medical center, which also boasts 1,200 employees and about 300 volunteers. St. John Medical Center also serves as a teaching site for the Ohio College of Osteopathic Medicine, with 59 students, residents and interns. The medical center had 10,400 admissions, 32,000 emergency department visits and 6,800 surgeries last year.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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