Sacred Heart Health System dedicated its new Bayou Tower facility on the main campus in Pensacola on Friday. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports the major expansion adds five stories to its Heart and Vascular facility.
The $52 million project – dubbed Bayou Tower – adds another 112 beds to Sacred Heart’s main hospital. The cost was paid from reserves and private donations, with no added debt. In 2012, Interim CEO Susan Davis said the addition would create what she called “the patient experience of the future.”
On Friday Davis – who has since had “interim” removed from her title – thanked everyone involved with the project from groundbreaking up to Friday’s dedication.
“I want to thank you for believing in Sacred Heart,” Davis said. “For investing your time, your energy, and yourself in Sacred Heart, in making it a special place for our patients.”
Floors 4 and 5 are intensive care units with a total of 40 rooms for patients with life-threatening conditions -- part of the hospital’s regional stroke and trauma centers. The 6th and 7th floors have 25 rooms each for patients being treated for cardiac conditions, including those recovering from heart surgery or cardiac procedures.
Robert Emmanuel, Chairman of the Sacred Heart Health System Board, said Bayou Tower “represents the beginning of our next century of growth.” In 2015, Sacred Heart marks its 100th anniversary serving the Pensacola area.
“It’s a very exciting time to be involved in health care,” said Emmanuel. “We pledge to you as we move forward, we will continue to have Sacred Heart evolve from the great community hospital it is now, to a regional health care facility that will draw patients from the entire southeastern United States.”
All rooms in the new addition are private.
Bayou Tower was built atop an existing Sacred Heart property – the Heart and Vascular Institute. Given land costs and concerns over space, Henry Stovall, President of Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, was asked if building up – instead of out – is the new game plan.
“We have a couple of other buildings that can do that, and some that can’t,” said Stovall. “They were built in the 60s and 70s and that’s simply not possible. We are blessed here at Sacred Heart because we have a lot of property (and) room to grow. So I think what you’re going to see is a mix going forward – going up, as well as going out.”
After some final checks, the first patients will occupy Bayou Tower beginning July 19.