Providence Medical Center draws large crowd, reveals renovations with weekend open house
The completion of $17 million-worth of renovations is certainly cause for celebration, and a celebration it was during Saturday’s Providence Medical Center Saint John Hospital open house.
The open house was the first public opening of renovations that included a new state-of-the-art breast center, four additional trauma rooms and a 23,000 square-foot expansion of the emergency services area, where a new waiting room and a calming and more private solarium for grieving family members and those wanting a bit more solitude while they wait were built.
The project, which began in the fall of 2007, was split into two phases, with the final phase being completed in February of this year. Registered nurse and interim emergency room director Mary Chance, who has worked at the Providence facility for seven years, said the change to the Kansas City, Kan., hospital has been a welcome one.
“Oh it’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” Chance said, noting that one of her favorite results of the renovation project was the more convenient location of the new radiology suite that was also built. “The whole staff’s really happy with the space and the new equipment.”
The open house was from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 27. In addition to a tent under which several area businesses and organizations, including the Wyandotte County Health Department and the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, were offering services and information, there was a magician, performers from the upcoming Renaissance Festival and an obstacle course.
Free lunch was provided and instructors from the Kansas City, Kan., YMCA gave free lessons in Zumba — an energetic aerobic workout of Latin inspiration. A misting tent was also available to cool off the hundreds of people who attended the event despite the dismal temperature of a June afternoon in Kansas.
“We estimated that 500 people attended,” said senior associate of communications Catherine Rice. “Which was fantastic for us, especially since I think I read that it felt like 102 degrees out there. So we were thrilled to have so many people from the community attend our celebration. What was really encouraging for us was that we saw all age groups, from older adults to families attend.”
Tours of an emergency room and the new breast center were available. A popular spot on the tour, the breast center is now outfitted with digital imaging capability and more comfortable padding on the new mammogram equipment.
“I’ve had my mammogram in here already,” said Constance Bradbury, who works in the breast center. “It’s much more comfortable.”
One woman taking the tour noted how warm and inviting the breast center was.
“This is gorgeous,” said Emily Kates, of Kansas City, Kan. Kates is the program director for at-risk mothers at the Wyandotte County Health Department. “I’ve been with patients to other locations and it’s very cold and uninviting. And this isn’t.”
Rice said the renovations, which were funded through such avenues as a capital campaign and donations, were badly needed. Not only had the space become too small in the emergency room, she said, but the look of the hospital had also become outdated.
“We were like a diamond in the rough. (Providence Medical Center) hadn’t been renovated for years and years,” Rice said, who also used the word “grungy” when describing the pre-renovated conditions of the hospital. “It’s clean. It’s sharp. It’s new and modern-looking.”
Rice said the open house, while a great and entertaining way to share information about the new renovations, wouldn’t be the stopping point of getting the word out. She said that people who attended would inevitably tell their friends and family members, making the message of celebration a message that would spread in the days and weeks to come.
“We feel this is really just the beginning of letting the community know about the great state-of-the-art facility we now have in Wyandotte County,” Rice said.
Providence Medical Center is at 8929 Parallel Parkway. For more information, call the hospital at (913) 596-4000.