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Columbia hospitals expand in recent years

Thursday, April 18, 2013 | 3:38 p.m. CDT; updated 9:19 a.m. CDT, Monday, April 22, 2013
MU Health Care, Boone Hospital Center and Truman Veterans Hospital have added patient rooms and improved care with the addition of new technology.

COLUMBIA — Columbia hospitals have filled out over the past five years, at a high cost.

MU Health Care, Boone Hospital Center and Truman Veterans Hospital have spent about $347.5 million on new technology, parking garages, buildings, lobbies and exteriors.

The projects have added hundreds of rooms for patients and improved many aspects of care.

Boone Hospital Center

The Boone Hospital Center opened a new patient tower in 2011. It was the largest expansion in the hospital's 92-year history, adding 128 rooms.

The US Green Building Council awarded the tower its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold status for including environmentally friendly features such as triple-pane glass and a rainwater storage basin for its sprinkler system.

The project also added a new parking garage and renovated William Street.

The hospital has also added new technological features in the past five years, including:

  • 3-D mammography and improved PET/CT scans for more accurate detection of cancer.
  • Open MRIs to allow family and friends to accompany patients.
  • Da Vinci surgery machines, a minimally invasive robotic surgery option.
  • A 4-D ultrasound machine that provides video of fetuses moving in the womb.

Boone Hospital Center will expand its cancer treatment facility with the $7.2 million Virginia and Norm Stewart Cancer Center, due to open in early 2014. The center will incorporate all the hospital's cancer services and add 32 patient rooms. It is named for former MU basketball coach Norm Stewart, founder of the Coaches vs. Cancer program.

MU Health Care

In June 2008, MU Health Care began construction of the $55.5 million Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, which opened to patients in June 2010. The facility includes 6 operating rooms, 20 patient rooms and 45 examination rooms for radiology and rehabilitation services.

The $12 million Women and Children’s Hospital opened in 2010 after breaking ground in 2009. The project combined the Children's Hospital with MU Health Care's women's health services to provide 27 pediatric patient rooms, 16 adolescent patient rooms and a 12-bed pediatric intensive care unit.

Renovations to the 6 East and 7 East buildings at University Hospital, constructed from February 2011 to August 2012, cost $15 million. The project converted rooms in the former Children's Hospital to private rooms. The newly renovated facility is home to the Missouri Neurosciences Center, a 28-bed unit which provides neurology and neurosurgery care.

The $190 million University Hospital expansion, which broke ground in August 2009, opened in March. The additional space allowed for 90 new patient rooms and the expansion of surgical services.

The Ellis Fischel Cancer Center is on the first and second floors of the University Hospital expansion. It includes six operating rooms and a unit for cancer treatment with 30 patient rooms and about 66 examination rooms. The extra space allows for classes such as tai chi to improve the health of cancer patients and survivors.

The $3 million University Hospital lobby renovation will update the interior of the lobby, including new signs, seating, an information desk and a front door.

Renovations to the Missouri Psychiatric Center, costing $14.5 million, modified several units, the exterior entryway and the administrative area. MU Health Care hopes to complete the renovations, which began in August 2009, this spring.

MU Health Care has decided to replace the aging University Physicians-Green Meadow facility with a new clinic on South Province Road. The organization hasn't decided when to begin construction. The $32.5 million facility would include space for pediatric care, family medicine, adult psychiatry, and radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services.

Truman Veterans Hospital

Truman Veterans Hospital has spent almost $5 million on upgrades to several areas, such as the pathology lab, the inpatient medicine ward and the research unit. It spent $5.8 million to expand its area for imaging services such as X-rays, and $3.6 million on an MRI facility so it can perform the procedure for its patients instead of sending them somewhere else.

The hospital hopes to complete a $25 million construction project in November. The project, which broke ground in August 2009, includes the construction of a new building and the expansion of others. The changes will add clinic space, procedure rooms and an operating room. The hospital also aims to renovate the recovery areas for patients coming out of surgery. A renovation of the emergency department is in the works.

Several other projects are planned but are contingent on funding from the U.S. Congress, which provides about 90 percent of the hospital's budget, said Stephen Gaither, public affairs officer for the VA hospital. The projects include:

  • Additions to the operating room building, including an expanded intensive care unit ($18.4 million)
  • A new parking garage ($8.6 million)
  • An expansion of outpatient services ($10 million)

Gaither said the projects would help the hospital continue its shift from inpatient to outpatient services. Since he joined the hospital in 1977, the number of beds in the hospital has decreased from 300 to 123. In the same time, the number of veterans served has risen from 15,000 to 37,000.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.


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