In new tower, JMC-Smithfield adds comfort, space, technology
April 5, 2010
Back in early February, Mary Holder of Clayton felt exhausted when she was admitted to Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield. The stress of her work as a community developer for a nonprofit was to blame, she says.
But Holder, 60, began to feel better in the bright surroundings of her new room.
“The colors of the walls and fabrics make a difference,” Holder said. “They’re inviting. They’re enlightening. They make you feel better. This is like taking a rest in a nice hotel.”
Holder was among 75 patients over three days to move from the modest rooms of the original hospital to the larger suites of the new patient tower. The $62 million addition replaces the original 100-bed hospital, which has been added to and expanded since opening in 1951.
“It’s modern, spacious, colorful and inviting,” says Ruth Marler, the hospital’s chief operating officer. “It’s designed for the comfort of patients and visitors, and includes the latest technology.”
Every patient suite has a large window, a flat screen TV and a futon that unfolds into a bed for overnight guests. The private bathrooms are spacious and decorated in white ceramic tile with blue accents.
A grab bar on the wall nearest the bed helps patients get to and from the bathroom safely.
The addition is three times the size of the old hospital and includes a new entrance and lobby with patient registration offices, a dining hall and interfaith chapel. The 101 new patient rooms include larger intensive and progressive care units for the hospital’s sickest patients. In all, the hospital is licensed for 179 acute care beds.
The addition includes five operating rooms that are about one-third larger than the old operating rooms. Much of the equipment is attached to overhead booms mounted in the ceiling, freeing up valuable floor space for the surgical team.
The addition also includes a 64-slice CT scanner in an expanded radiology department.
Dr. Robert Lippitt, a urologist and head of the surgical department at Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield, says the new space will allow for more effective surgical care. “It will improve the process from the moment patients walk in until the moment they leave,” he says.
After staying in the new space, Holder, the patient, said she felt inspired to make changes in her life. “A new wing, a new thing. I’m going to start taking better care of myself,” she said.