St. Francis Hospital celebrates "topping out" of expansion project
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 7:07 AM
St. Francis Hospital on Monday celebrated a milestone in construction of the largest expansion in the facility's history.
The hospital hosted a "topping out" ceremony to mark the placement of the final piece of steel on top of the eight-story structure.
The $206 million expansion includes a new trauma emergency center and a patient bed tower, as well as renovations to the main hospital lobby.
There will be 450,000 square feet of new construction and 50,000 square feet of renovation at the hospital at 61st Street and Yale Avenue.
"This is an excellent project," said Lynn Sund, senior vice president and chief nurse executive. "The building is outstanding."
The renovation and new construction is on track to be open in the summer of 2014, said David Wagner, senior vice president for facilities management at St. Francis.
The new trauma emergency center will have 85 beds, an increase from 45 in the current center. Of those beds, 22 will be designated for children with emergencies. It will also include a decontamination room, four triage stations and a cardiac catheterization lab, among other upgraded equipment.
The roof will have two helipads.
Wagner said the St. Francis emergency room had 91,000 visits last year and will be able to accommodate more than 120,000 a year when the new center opens. It will be able to meet the requirements of becoming a Level I trauma center, a change the hospital is exploring.
The new center is needed to accommodate the emergency care Tulsa needs, he said.
"We think the whole facility is definitely needed for the community," he said in an interview.
Dr. Kimberly Felten, chairwoman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, said at the ceremony that the need for emergency services is growing, particularly with an aging population. In recent years, the department has worked to decrease lengths of stay and the number of people who leave without treatment.
The new center will allow the department to continue to improve a vital part of the hospital, she said. "It's a place where you can go where all people are treated the same regardless of their ability to pay," she said.
There will be a new chapel that seats 180 and will feature a 50-foot-by-12 1/2 foot stained glass window.
The hospital is also building a new 14-room convent for the Religious Sisters of Mercy.
The addition will bring the number of licensed beds at St. Francis from 962 to 1,112, not including other campuses.
New trauma emergency center and patient bed tower at St. Francis Hospital
500,000 square feet of total construction
$206 million total cost
150 new beds in the patient tower
85 rooms in the trauma emergency center
Original Print Headline: Hospital milestone
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378
The pink beam is placed during the "topping out" ceremony for the new patient tower at St. Francis Hospital on Monday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Jake Henry Jr. (left), president and CEO of St. Francis Health System, and David Wagner, senior vice president of facilities management for the health system, speak while watching a pink beam in the air during the "topping out" ceremony for the new patient tower at St. Francis Hospital on Monday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
An artist's rendering shows the new main entrance to St. Francis Hospital. Courtesy