Trinity planning $61.3 million expansion

Originally Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2013, 2:20 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 24, 2013, 11:20 pm
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By Sarah Hayden,

ROCK ISLAND -- A dramatic rise in emergency room and cardiac patients is driving Trinity Regional Health System's decision to build  $61.3 million, 90,000 square-foot expansion  to its Rock Island campus.

 ER patient visits were up 7 percent -- to 35,676 --  in 2012 from 2011 said. Trinity President and CEO Rick Seidler. He said space needs are critical as  demand for cardiac, emergency and psychiatric patient services  is expected to soar an additional 8 percent by 2014.

Ground will be broken on the two-year  project in June, assuming the state of Illinois approves the certificate of need application at a meeting March 26. Completion is planned for the summer 2015. 

It will be the largest expansion project in Trinity Regional Health System's 40-year history. Planned are a three-story expansion for the emergency room and cardiac departments at  Trinity Rock Isalnd, 2701 17th St. 

Very few capital improvements have been made in the past 40 years and they can't wait any longer, said Mr. Seidler.

"Our facilities are so small, staff are jumping over cables to work on patients," said Dr. Sanjeev Puri, a cardiologist with Trinity. "I think there is a great need."

"We have antiquated emergency rooms. No one likes to be separated by a thin curtain, able to hear what's going on next to them," said Dr. Kevin Kurth, Trinity's Director of Emergency Medicine. "A high percentage come in with psychiatric issues and they have to stay in the department until they can be evaluated."

In 2012, 35,676 patients were treated in the ER, and 10 percent of those patients had cardiac issues, he said. 

Mr. Seidler said Trinity is seeing more psychiatric patients since the state of Illinois cut funding for treatment. The rise in people without healthcare coverage has increased visits to the ER because they often wait too long to get medical care, he said.

He said the ER at Moline's Trinity Hospital does not accept ambulances because they do not have an intensive care unit for critically ill patients. They are routed to Trinity's Rock Island campus for treatment, adding to an already crowded facility.

"We'd like to give the best treatment we can in a state-of-the-art facility," said Mr. Seidler.

The expansion includes 22 outpatient rooms. Once the project is completed, the old ER will be vacated. A use for it hasn't been decided, Mr. Seidler said.

Mr. Seidler said parking  issues are unresolved. With the hospital surrounded by a ravine, it makes the addition of an extra parking lot a challenge, he said.

Funding for the project will come from loans from internal reserves and Iowa Health System, Trinity's parent company. A capital campaign to raise money is also underway.

Trinity Regional Health System board chair Pete McLaughlin said the project will create jobs by employing local engineering, architectural, interior design and construction companies from the Quad Cities.

Firms working on the project include: Cannon Design, Gere Dismer Architects, Paragon Commercial Interiors, KJWW Engineering, Missman Engineering, Pepper Construction and Russell Construction.

Tom Hepner, an associate with Gere Dismer Architects, said his team has been working on the project for over a year.

"We've got a knockout team," said Mr. Hepner. "So many lives are being touched by this project, it's a big deal for the community."

Trinity expects to have an IMPACT agreement with local labor unions for a project of this scale, said Mr. Seidler.


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn.
1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.

(More History)