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Kadlec’s taller patient tower ready to open

Kadlec’s taller patient tower ready to open

Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington will celebrate the expansion of its River Pavilion Tower with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29, 2016. The River Pavilion Tower at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington now has 10
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Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington will celebrate the expansion of its River Pavilion Tower with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29, 2016. The River Pavilion Tower at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington now has 10

It’s the tallest building for miles, with sweeping views of the Columbia River and Tri-City area.

But Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s River Pavilion Tower — now with 10 stories, after a four-story expansion — offers a whole lot more than pretty vistas.

It means Kadlec staffers will be able to help more patients and provide even better care, say hospital officials. It also means more breathing room for patients, families and hospital staff.

“This is a big relief valve for us,” said Kathy Christensen, administrative director of nursing services. “To me, the biggest impact for the community is what it’s going to bring in terms of resources.”

A ribbon cutting for the $59 million expansion is at 11 a.m. Sept. 29 in the 10th floor lobby. Public tours will follow.

The River Pavilion’s eighth and 10th floors will open to patients next week. The seventh and ninth floors are to open in December.

Davis Partnership was the architect and Bouten Construction Co. was the contractor.

This is a big relief valve for us. To me, the biggest impact for the community is what it’s going to bring in terms of resources.

Kathy Christensen, director of nursing

Kadlec nurses and other staff were heavily involved in the planning and design process.

“We looked at all the little things, like, how difficult is it to get a patient to the bathroom? How do families do in the space?” Christensen said.

The new rooms are equipped with hide-a-beds and refrigerators to add comfort for family members. The bathrooms have wide doors and lots of space.

Also, “staff spend a lot of time running back and forth” grabbing equipment and supplies, Christensen said. So, “we created a lot of in-room storage space to cut down on that,” and high-use supplies from tape to washcloths are right there at the fingertips, she said.

The four new floors have 94 private rooms — 54 on the seventh and eighth floors, which are for acute care, and 40 on the ninth and 10th floors for intensive care.

The expansion means double the capacity for intensive care, which is needed, said Nancy Dahlberg, intensive care manager. “Even last week, I was having to turn patients away from outlying areas,” she said.

Kadlec is licensed for 270 beds, and the expansion doesn’t change that. But it means the hospital will be able to use more of its beds and provide more privacy and better accommodations for patients, officials have said.

$59 million expansion

4 new floors

10 total floors

270 total beds

94 private rooms on new floors

Along with the private patient rooms, the new floors also have more waiting space for families.

And the new ICU has a gym, stocked with equipment such as a stationary bike, parallel bars and a weight system.

The gym is an innovation for an ICU floor, Dahlberg said

“I bet we’re one of the only ICUs in the country that have done this,” she said. “We really thought through the pieces of the puzzle on how you get people active. On this unit, you’ll see patients on a breathing machine who are in the gym working out. It gets them off the ventilator quicker and gets them back home. We are really proud of this space.”

The seventh floor also is getting a garden terrace, where families, staff and patients will be able to retreat for some fresh air. The terrace is being paid for through a fundraising drive.

The pavilion expansion has been part of busy time of construction at Kadlec. The hospital also opened a new five-level parking garage in August.

Dahlberg said it’s exciting to see the River Pavilion floors open after so much hard work.

“The beauty of Kadlec is there are always new challenges to take on,” she said. “I don’t know what the next adventure will be, but there will be something.”

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529, @SaraTCHerald

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