Providing quality health care for every patient. This straightforward statement is the mission of Kadlec Health System. Every decision we make is focused on these six words. As we begin a new decade, we want to share with you how Kadlec is ready to provide a higher level of care for the patients we serve.
We have come a long way. From development of the community's first open heart surgery program in 2001, to the opening of the six-story River Pavilion in 2008 and the Don and Lori Watts Pediatric Center in 2009, Kadlec has grown into a regional referral center meeting the needs of patients from the Tri-Cities and surrounding region. Because of the continued growth of the Tri-Cities, combined with becoming a regional medical center, Kadlec is planning for more growth in the coming years.
-- 2010: Late last fall, our heart care capabilities were enhanced with a new cardiac care unit focused solely on patients with cardiac conditions, including open heart surgery.
This summer, we will open a new medical unit on the sixth floor of the River Pavilion, which means Kadlec is one step closer to being an all-private room hospital. Ninety-five percent of our rooms will be private. We believe patient privacy and a quiet environment is essential to healing.
We plan to break ground soon on a new building that will be home to the Kadlec Neuroscience Center, a team of medical professionals brought together at one location to treat people affected by neurological disorders. The Kadlec Neurological Resource Center, an organization providing information and support groups for patients and families of patients with neurological disorders, also will move into the building. This building will initially be four floors, but is designed to be 10 stories tall to accommodate growth. It also will be the location of Kadlec Clinic Gastroenterology, a growing team of G.I. specialists whose services will include an endoscopy suite, and Kadlec Clinic Pulmonology. The fourth floor will be a shell for future physician offices.
-- 2011: Our emergency room needs have led us to plan for an expanded department. Last year, nearly 60,000 patients were treated in the Kadlec E.R. We anticipate adding at least 11 E.R. beds, so we can keep pace with the demand.
-- 2012: The year 2012 will see the River Pavilion rise to 10 stories tall with build-out of the top four floors. It is our intent to put two floors into service immediately and the other two as needed.
Kadlec has long been known for its outstanding Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We expect to start construction of a new NICU in 2012, which will more than double our current capability to care for critically ill babies.
Finally, there is a need to plan for additional growth at Kadlec. We recently purchased property on Lee Boulevard in Richland where we plan to relocate some of our non-clinical Kadlec functions.
In addition, there are plans for a parking garage to help relieve parking challenges that our rapid growth has brought. We know this may be the most welcome news to many of you!
Our first priority is to care for patients. Beyond that, Kadlec's economic importance to our community cannot be ignored. We have tripled our work force in the past 10 years, approaching 2,200 employees today. This translates into a payroll of almost $150 million annually. In addition to the Regional Medical Center's contribution to economic growth, Kadlec Clinic and Kadlec Neuroscience Center are growing rapidly. Our multi-specialty physician group, Kadlec Clinic, has expanded to reach throughout the entire community. Kadlec has recruited more than 60 new physicians to the Tri-Cities in just the past three years.
Ultimately, our people make Kadlec different. We have a wonderful team of skilled employees, physicians and volunteers who ensure we are the hospital of choice.
All of our physicians and staff are continually working on initiatives aimed at improving patient safety and quality. Our Intensive Care Unit recently earned prestigious recognition as a Beacon Unit, a select group of ICUs across the country recognized for patient care excellence. The ICU staff also is nationally acclaimed for outstanding work to eliminate potentially serious infections. Our Oncology Unit has earned accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer for the exceptional care and support of our cancer patients.
We also have dedicated boards of directors -- talented community volunteers who guide our hospital and health care system. Nearly 500 other volunteers contribute tens of thousands of hours providing tremendous support for our entire organization.
We look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. Most importantly, we look forward to serving the patients of our community, our region and providing a higher level of care. We have a plan to meet the future health care needs of the region, and we are moving forward to implement that plan.