Care in high places
Hospital expands upward to meet current and future needs
BY SUSAN BURGESS
HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital just completed a $100 million four-story tower designed to fill current needs and take it well into the future.
“The tower expansion project allowed the hospital to grow to meet the evolving needs of patients and families in the area,” hospital CEO Eric Goldman said.
The tower enabled the hospital to move the recovery room from its current location in the main building to the ground floor of the tower. That, in turn, lets the hospital put two more operating rooms where the recovery room used to be.
The ground floor of the new tower is being used for pre-operative care of patients and outpatient testing, surgery for inpatients and outpatients, and for post-procedure recovery. Upstairs, the tower adds 32 new inpatient beds in private rooms to the 398 the hospital already has. The tower is one of several expansions and renovations the hospital has undergone since it was built in 1977.
“We are proud of our tower expansion project and the investment in the Treasure Coast community,” Goldman said. “The new tower will elevate the patient experience and demonstrate our commitment to meeting the growing needs of our community.”
The spacious private rooms on the second floor with prints on the walls and large windows to let the sunlight in should help patients to feel comfortable during their stay. They are equipped with computers so the clinical teams have easy access to patient data. The family room gives relatives and friends a place to relax or even catnap.
Patients on the second floor might be there for orthopedic reasons, or while being treated for thyroid and neurosurgical conditions as well as general surgery.
ROOM TO GROW
Eventually the third and fourth floors, when needed, will include another 32 beds for medical-surgical patients and a 30-bed intensive care unit.
What’s really nice is that the layout in this new building makes it very efficient.
“Lobby spaces, waiting rooms, surgical and pre-admissions intake areas, operating rooms, pre/post-surgical units and inpatient bed units were all planned to reduce distance between the units and make foot traffic more efficient,” Goldman said.
“Waiting rooms are designed to allow people to work, snack and relax and an activity area for kids is in the outpatient lobby,” Goldman said. “Charging stations for phones and tablets are provided throughout the facility to allow for patients and visitors to stay connected.”
The lobby in the tower is used for registration and has a waiting area for visitors. The colors feature soft shades of blue and gold to help to create a soothing and inviting environment for patients and visitors.
Even the air-handling units are high efficiency. LED light fixtures comply with the most current energy codes and native plantings in the landscape are selected to minimize water usage. Multipurpose rooms are used for patient education, staff meetings and conferences with families.
The tower will bring more jobs to Lawnwood. “We’ll continue to hire nurses and patient care technicians as well as people for nonclinical roles like housekeeping, case management and food and nutrition,” Goldman said.
HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital in Fort Pierce recently changed its name from Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute. It is one of 49 HCA hospitals in Florida. It was certified in 2010 as a Level II trauma hospital with special teams for critical care, and has a Level III NICU — intensive care unit for newborns.
Sept. 22, 2022