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St. Joseph’s Opens State-of-the-Art Surgical Suite

SYRACUSE – St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center held a ribbon cutting and blessing for its new, state-of-the-art surgical suite on Monday, June 17, at the hospital. The new surgical suite includes 15 operating rooms (ORs), which are two more than the current suite, and each OR suite is 50 percent larger to accommodate today’s state-of-the-art medical technology and larger surgical teams.

Designed to enhance care for patients just before and right after surgery, the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) has been expanded from 16 to 25 patient beds, increasing annual capacity from 10,500 to 14,000 patients.

The new, co-located Central Sterile Unit is nearly four times larger than the former, 40-year-old unit. Its position adjacent the new Surgical Suite increases safety and efficiency while “green” instrument washers will save water and electricity.

“Today's surgical setting has dramatically changed since 1992 when the existing <15,000 square-foot operating room suite (OR)/post anesthesia care unit (PACU) was built at St. Joseph's Hospital,” explained Jodi Donahue, director of surgical services for St. Joseph’s.  “Constructed to accommodate the resource needs of the surgical procedures being performed at that time, the operating rooms were once considered spacious.  However, these rooms simply can no longer meet the demands of today’s advanced surgical technology and procedural complexities.”

St. Joseph’s expansion not only will meet the needs of patients and community, but also will demonstrate the hospital’s environmental commitment Consistent with Syracuse’s national identity as one of 10 top green communities in the nation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this project will use sustainable design principles to build a “healthy” hospital while seeking LEED certification.  Phase 2A and B together are one of the largest green health care construction projects in New York State.

“As a Franciscan institution, we’re proud to note that St. Francis is the patron saint of ecology, and we are committed to applying progressive, ‘green’ construction and operating principles throughout this project,” said Kathryn H. Ruscitto, president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph’s.

Working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the plan includes solar panels, daylighting views, energy conserving systems, a greenway park, site drainage, and underground water and storm water infrastructure, all of which will reduce the hospital’s energy costs. Additionally, these features are aimed at maximizing the sustainability of the new St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center and ensuring that every impact on current and future generations is a positive one.

St. Joseph’s is financing the expansion project, which includes the recently completed Emergency Services Building, in several ways. The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council identified the Phase 2B expansion as priority project and in 2011, St. Joseph’s was awarded $2.5 million in Regional Economic Development Council funding.

Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, “Today represents a not only a major milestone for St. Joseph's expansion, but a great step forward for both health care and the economy in Central New York. The new Surgical Suite raises the quality of health care in the region, while this expansion is creating hundreds of new jobs and helping to revitalize local communities. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership and the guidance of the Regional Councils, the State is making smart investments in transformational projects like the St. Joseph’s expansion – the projects that are building a strong foundation for an economy prepared to grow and last.”

St. Joseph’s also has received an inducement of $177 million for tax exempt bonding from the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation, a local development corporation recently formed by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. The Corporation has the authority to assist not-for-profit organizations that undertake economic development projects by the Onondaga County Legislature. The remainder of the investment will come from hospital reserves, as well as St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation’s Generations capital campaign.

King and King Architects designed the new surgical suite; contractor is The Hayner Hoyt Corporation/KBE Building Corporation.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is a non-profit, 431-bed hospital and health care system in Syracuse, New York, providing services to patients in 16 counties in Central New York State. Through prevention programs and the latest diagnostic treatment procedures, St. Joseph's works with patients to achieve optimum long-term health. A 14-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis.