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Hospital Adjusts for the Future

Changing population challenges growth plans.

In 2010 more than one out of four Alexandrians will be between the ages of 50 and 65. It is that changing demographic that caused Inova Alexandria Hospital to alter its expansion plans and concentrate more on services to an aging population.

“We rethought our plans after this demographic analysis. The city is aging faster than anticipated and we are a community hospital. We need to be ready to serve that population,” said Kenneth Kozloff, administrator, Inova Alexandria Hospital, and vice president, Inova Health System.

“We are still providing services to our younger constituency but our expansion plans will reflect the demographic analysis,” he said. A prime example of providing services to the younger constituency is the 4,000 babies delivered at IAH last year.

IAH’S 2010 PROJECT calls for the expenditure µof $60 million over five years. The official ground breaking for the new elements is scheduled for July, according to Kozloff.

“Because we are a non-profit organization we are always looking for philanthropic contributions. The unique element of this project is working with the community, the city, and the medical staff,” he said.

That was echoed by Victor Dymowski, director, Alexandria Hospital Foundation. “From a fund raising point of view, this hospital has had tremendous support from the community. Much of the money for this project comes from the foundation which is supported by individual donations,” he said.

“We have raised approximately $10 million so far but we definitely are hoping to get another $10 million in contributions. This is a community hospital and that is nowhere more apparent than in the community financial support we receive. We hope to continue that relationship,” Dymowski said.

Throughout the planned expansion process, the hospital has worked closely with the community leadership. “We’ve had great collaboration with the city and various civic associations. This is particularly true of the Seminary Hills Civic Association,” Kozloff said.

He also praised the medical staff for their leadership in helping to plan many of the proposed changes and additions. “For this project I decided to form a so-called kitchen cabinet of doctors to have input for what should be included,” said Dr. Barry Rothman, chief of staff at IAH when the project was conceived.

“I called in a lot of physicians to establish the top priorities of what we should be doing. With the aging population we are looking at more emphasis on emergency room needs, less invasive procedures and ways to better serve that population,” Rothman said.

“We also need to take care of the obstetrics and other services for our younger patients. That has always been our goal,” he said.

THE $60 MILLION estimated cost is in addition to the $8 million investment made in 2003 to build an employee parking garage. That 700-space, multi-level facility frees up spaces for visitors that are more centrally located to the hospital’s primary entrances. The visitor parking lot abutting Howard Street provides 275 spaces, according to Kozloff. There is also parking immediately adjacent to the emergency entrance.

New construction will comprise approximately 68,000 square feet of floor space on three levels. This amounts to a 13 percent increase in size. Most of the construction will occur adjacent to the current Emergency Department and Ambulatory Surgery Center.

Areas scheduled for expansion include:

v Emergency Department to allow triaging of more patients and provide the most clinically effective care. It will include the creation of an all-private, eight bed Clinical Decision Unit used to observe and assess patients who do not need to be admitted; available in-patient beds; and diagnostic radiology.

v Expansion of Surgery Department to meet the growing need for both open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. This will include two additional operating rooms equipped to accommodate minimally invasive procedures. That will bring the hospital’s total operating rooms to 14. Ambulatory surgery and recovery areas will also be expanded.

v Expanding the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology departments by 16,000 square feet to provide increased services in both these specialties. Also included will be a neurovascular interventional radiology lab, an electrophysiology lab, and two cardiovascular ultrasound rooms. The Radiology Department ultrasound area will be renovated.

v To accommodate the expansion of cardiovascular and radiology, the laboratory will be relocated to a new basement area under the Clinical Decision Unit. Above that same unit, on the hospital’s second floor, will be a completely private and monitored Telemetry Unit.

Although the hospital’s total 320 beds will remain the same, there will be an increase of 24 private rooms, according to Kozloff. “We are increasing the number of private rooms because it provides more personal patient care,” he explained.

There are approximately 17,000 general hospital admission each year at IAH. This is in addition to 66,000 outpatient visits and 50,000 emergency room visits.

IN ADDITION to the planned 2010 Project, IAH has undergone a series of other renovations and construction projects in recent years. Some of these include:

v Renovation and expansion of the Perinatal Diagnostic Center

v Acquisition of a $1 million computed tomography scanner for the Radiology Department

v A new linear accelerator for the Cancer Center that offers the latest in radiation treatment

v Purchase of a $4.5 million Trilogy for the Cancer Center that will enable the center to improve its technical capabilities in various forms of imaging. Its scheduled installation is the second quarter of 2006.

v The 2005 conversion of the TWIG Pavilion which houses 16 single-bed rooms

v A planned renovation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

In order to make all this operative, IAH employs 1,500 professional staff making it one of the largest employers in the city. “And they work for the community 365 days a year 24-7. We believe we have the world’s greatest employees. I had a sign put over the employee entrance near the new parking garage that states that, so they see it everyday,” Kozloff said.

The total 2010 project will take approximately 36 to 39 months to complete. The four phases of construction will begin with the Surgery Department, followed by the Emergency Department and Laboratory, the Radiological, Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology departments, and finally the shell space above the Emergency Department, according to Kozloff.

“We have acquired all the necessary zoning permits and have received full approval of the city and members of our surrounding community. We are hoping to be fully completed by 2011 since we got a little late start,” Kozloff said.