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Highland Park Hospital plans $74 million overhaul

HighlPark Hospital is preparing for $74-millimodernizatiits campus part which is nearly century old. | Submitted photo

Highland Park Hospital is preparing for a $74-million modernization of its campus, part of which is nearly a century old. | Submitted photo

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Updated: February 8, 2014 6:06AM

Highland Park Hospital is preparing for a $74-million modernization over the next three years that will be most noticeable in the areas of maternal care, surgery and radiology.

The modernization of the hospital, located at 777 Park Avenue West in Highland Park, is expected to begin in late 2014 with interior remodeling, New construction would begin during the summer of 2015 after plans have been reviewed and approved by state and local authorities. A portion of the hospital remaining from the original 1917 building will be rebuilt.

“Some parts of this campus are quite old,” said Jesse Peterson Hall, president of NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. “We are rapidly coming up on a century of serving the community. We haven’t done much work in a long time, especially in the areas of surgery and radiology.”

About 45,000 square feet of new construction will fill in open space between existing buildings on the hospital’s campus. The construction will not expand the buildings’ outer perimeters, Peterson Hall said.

The upgrading comes at a time when Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is planning to completely rebuild its facility, which dates to the early 1900s, over the next three years at an estimated cost of $400 million. Meanwhile, at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, a $10 million expansion of the radiation oncology department serving cancer patients is underway.

Highland Park Hospital’s Certificate of Need application with the state is tentatively scheduled for a hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board on April 22.

During the updating, four operating rooms will be replaced with much larger facilities to accommodate the large amount of equipment that is used during surgical procedures today.

“It is astounding how much equipment now is used in most operating rooms,” Peterson Hall said. “We are taking four (operating rooms) off line and replacing them with significantly larger rooms for our most complex procedures.”

Six operating rooms will be upgraded with lighting and advanced technology.

The area serving mothers during labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care will be remodeled and reorganized to improve efficiency. Nearly 1,200 newborns are delivered each year at Highland Park Hospital, according to hospital data filed with the state.

“We needed to upgrade the patient rooms to make sure the mothers and families who are with us have the most comfortable experience they can,” Peterson Hall said.

The improvements include a new inpatient unit that completes the transition to all private rooms.

“Having a private room has become very important to our patients and their families,” Peterson Hall said.

The hospital does not plan to increase the number of inpatient beds, which will remain at the current level of 149.

Highland Park Hospital was an independent community hospital until 2000, when it was acquired by the predecessor to NorthShore University HealthSystem, which also operates Evanston, Glenbrook and Skokie hospitals.

During 2012, Highland Park Hospital logged 8,070 inpatient admissions and nearly 233,000 outpatient visits.

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