YOUNGSTOWN - The $20 million upgrade and expansion at Northside Medical Center, celebrated Tuesday with a ribbon cutting, is part of ongoing developments at local facilities in the ValleyCare Health System, a hospital executive said.
"A commitment was made to invest $80 million in Northside over a several-year period, so this represents about $20 million dollars," Northside Interim CEO Kent Brown said after Tuesday's ceremonial event.
Other investments at the hospital are focusing on infrastructure improvements to things like heating and air conditioning and fire suppression.
Next, Brown expects the adjacent former Family Practice building, which he said is no longer needed, to be razed to make room for green space and additional parking.
He also hinted at some plans for upgrades at ValleyCare's Warren facility, Trumbull Memorial Hospital, but declined to release any specifics.
The $20 million Northside investment, unveiled Tuesday, adds about 30,000 square feet to the hospital near the emergency room and modernizes 28,000 square feet of the existing building. The work makes the emergency department more private and added a three-story addition that, beginning Monday, will serve as the hospital's main entrance. It also houses pre-admission testing, waiting rooms, a gift shop, surgical services, endoscopy services, waiting rooms and more.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Brenda J. Linert
John P. Gianetti, M.D., center, takes in the atmosphere of the new main entrance at Northside Medical Center. Officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on the addition and renovation project that opens to the public Monday.
It has been described as the largest infrastructure improvement at the hospital in nearly 15 years.
Two of the 22 emergency department patient rooms still are in the works, along with certain staffing areas of the emergency room. It is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Work has been underway for the last year as the emergency room continued to operate as normal.
The project was compared by Dr. Neal Tishman, director of emergency services, as "similar to changing a tire when you are rolling down the road."
"But it got done," he said.
Tishman said the renovation will allow the hospital and the emergency department to set new standards of care. And along with raising the bar on patient care, it also helps generate improved attitudes among staff, he said.
"The investment does demonstrate ValleyCare's continuing commitment with modern technology and other resources necessary to provide quality patient care," said Dr. John Gianetti.
In addition to Northside Medical Center and Trumbull Memorial Hospital, ValleyCare Health System of Ohio also operates Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland and several other facilities in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.