SoutheastHEALTH plans to build a new 24-bed outpatient observation unit and a 12-bed pediatric emergency, observation and inpatient unit on the east side of Southeast Hospital.
The new pediatric area will be constructed next to the current emergency room at the Cape Girardeau hospital. The outpatient observation unit will be built on the second floor of the addition, above the pediatric area.
The work is expected to be completed during the next year. In addition, remodeling of Southeast Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit and the ambulatory surgery area are scheduled to be completed by fall 2014.
The Cape Girardeau City Council has passed a resolution in support of the project. SoutheastHEALTH is working with the Cape Girardeau County Industrial Development Authority to secure $40 million in bonds to fund the projects, provide for equipment and refinance existing bonds used for capital improvements.
SoutheastHEALTH Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Hugh King says the funding won’t create an obligation for the city, county or taxpayers. SoutheastHEALTH will be solely responsible for repaying the debt and Hospital revenue will serve as collateral for the bonds.
SoutheastHEALTH officials say there’s a need for the pediatric emergency, observation and inpatient unit. Children account for about 20 percent of the patients currently seen in Emergency Services.
The pediatric unit will be staffed with pediatric hospitalists. The new construction is expected to make available more private rooms in the Hospital and result in creation of some 30 new jobs, King says.
Emergency Services Medical Director Andrew S. Brenner, JD, MD, says, “The concept of providing one location for all pediatric care provided in the Hospital is exciting. By having a dedicated pediatric observation unit and pediatric inpatient united located in the same physical location as the pediatric emergency department will greatly enhance the satisfaction of our pediatric patients and their families.”
He notes that the second-floor, adult observation unit will enhance patient flow as most patients under observation are first treated in the emergency room.
Greg Cugini, MD, of Southeast Pediatrics says that patients will benefit from a staff trained in pediatrics and be cared for in an environment that has children and their families in mind. “It provides a warm, caring experience while at the same time removes the fears and anxieties that children may feel in an adult emergency room setting,” he adds.