Lourdes to open in-patient unit at Joint & Spine Center

Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldJune 3, 2014 

A brand-new robe hung on the bathroom door.

Near the bed, which was covered in Egyptian cotton sheets, a sleep noise machine sat ready to play soothing sounds.

A "quiet pack" also was close by, filled with goodies from a sleep mask to ear plugs.

It wasn't a guest room at an upscale hotel, but a hospital room -- one designed for comfort as well as functionality.

Lourdes Health Network is set this month to open a new 12-bed in-patient unit as part of its Joint & Spine Center.

The center was created last year to pull together Lourdes' joint and spine services into a more seamless operation. The in-patient unit is among the center's final pieces, and Lourdes officials said they've taken care to make it a soothing and hospitable place -- with the robes, a tranquil color scheme and other touches with the patient in mind.

"We've created an environment that is very warm and welcoming," said Cynthia Gomez-Hodges, the center's director.

"It's going to be an incredible place to come and receive services," added Connie Gillispie, Lourdes chief development officer. "We're really excited about it."

A public open house and ribbon cutting is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. today. The center is at Lourdes Medical Center, 520 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco.

Surgeons on Lourdes' medical staff perform almost 1,000 orthopedic and spine procedures a year, ranging from knee and hip replacements to spine and shoulder repairs.

That's more than any other local hospital, Lourdes officials said. They described the center as unique in the Tri-Cities, with the only dedicated in-patient joint and spine unit.

Lourdes has invested more than $500,000 in the new center. Like with other improvement projects in the past several years, the Pasco-based health network didn't take on capital debt to do so, instead covering costs out of operations and with money raised by the Lourdes Foundation, said John Serle, Lourdes' president and chief executive officer.

He said Lourdes has considered regional health care offerings in making decisions about services.

The in-patient unit is on the second floor of Lourdes, in remodeled space that held the obstetrics department before it closed last year.

Along with the in-patient unit, the center also has features including therapy gyms and classroom space.

Lourdes joint and spine services are provided by skilled physicians and staff who consistently get good outcomes, Serle said.

"That really was our goal and that's what we've been achieving -- now this (center) brings it together in one cohesive place," he said.

For more on the center, go to www.lourdeshealth.net/lmc/joint-spine-center.

-- Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald

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