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December 6, 2011 > Building for the Future

Building for the Future

Hospital Expansion Efforts Are Under Way to Meet Growing Community Needs

For more than 50 years, Washington Hospital has provided quality patient care to the residents of Washington Township Health Care District. Now, to keep pace with the growing health care needs of the community, the hospital is continuing to make progress with critical expansion efforts and seismic upgrade projects.


First phase well underway

The first phase of construction, which is scheduled for completion in early next year, includes the hospital's new consolidated central plant, a 37,000 square-foot facility that will serve as the hub of the hospital's daily operations. The original plant, built in 1958, will be replaced with a new state-of-the art facility designed to serve the entire hospital campus. (See the article on this page about the free public tour of the Central Plant that will take place on Wednesday, December 14.)

"The main objective of the new central plant is to supply all the utilities necessary to both existing and new facilities with the ability to expand as the hospital continues growing to meet the demands of the communities we serve," according to Ed Fayen, Washington Hospital's Associate Administrator of Operations and Support.

Notably, the new central plant will feature three high-capacity emergency generators capable of providing back-up emergency power to the hospital for at least a week, says Robert Alfieri, Washington Hospital's director of facility services. Alfieri, who will oversee the day-to-day operation of the central plant, says one of the key benefits is the new plant's ability to supply emergency electrical power for disaster situations.

"The plant is designed to supply all the critical functions the hospital needs to operate, especially during an emergency, including hot water for bathing; boilers for heat; steam generation for sterilization and autoclaving; and, medical gases, such as oxygen," Alfieri says.

To further ensure that operations will continue in the event of a disaster, hospital leadership has made sure that emergency power is integrated into every aspect of the new construction projects. In the event of a major seismic event, these upgrades will enable the hospital to operate without any outside utilities for an extended period of time.

Also part of the first phase of construction-though not funded by Measure FF bond passed by voters in 2004-is the new Center for Joint Replacement (CJR), an innovatively designed structure that will provide enough space for additional all-private patient rooms as part of the top floor build-out.

Following completion of the first phase, construction will begin on the hospital's new Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department, with the goal of accommodating the increasing number of seriously ill patients being treated at the hospital. The building, expected to be completed in 2016, will also house a larger critical care unit and an intensive care unit with all-private rooms.


Safety first

Most importantly during construction, residents of Washington Township Health Care District can rest assured that safety will remain a number one priority, adds Alfieri.

"As we move closer to completion of the new Central Plant facility, it's our goal to insure that the new facility is safe and as comfortable as possible for our patients, visitors and staff."


Watch construction online

To view construction updates and watch current time-lapse footage of the hospital's new central plant and Center for Joint Replacement, visit www.whhs.com/construction. To learn more about upcoming construction projects and upgrades at your community hospital, make sure to tune into upcoming Washington Township Health Care District board meetings on InHealth, A Washington Hospital Channel, on Comcast Channel 78.

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