WRMC Starts Work On New Patient Tower

Wellington Regional Medical Center celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 103,000-square-foot patient tower Wednesday, Sept. 14. The project is set to be completed in spring 2013.

WRMC and its parent company Universal Health Services contracted with the Orlando-based Robins & Morton Group to build the $50 million facility.

WRMC CEO Jerel Humphrey is eager to bring the new patient tower to the area.

“We are very excited about the new facility and what we will be able to offer the people of the western communities,” he said.

Hospital officials decided to expand the bed capacity to meet the demands of a growing community. Based on the hospital’s 2017 patient volume projections, the hospital is expected to see a continuing increase in patients.

The new patient tower is planned to ease traffic in the emergency room, which for the past couple of years has been extremely busy.

“This will allow us the space to develop our services,” Director of Marketing Marsha Israel said. “It will give us the space to have a brand new orthopedic center with all the latest technology.”

WRMC officials have been working on the expansion project for more than five years, said Dr. Melissa Carlson, who chairs the hospital’s board of governors. “This is an incredible day we have been working on for many years,” she said. “And hopefully it will increase our patient satisfaction.”

Administrators and contractors worked closely with physicians and medical staff on the design and layout of the new tower. The goal is to create a facility that is consistent with the medical staff’s workflow and improves patient comfort.

The new patient tower will be a three-story building attached to the north side of the hospital. The building will have 80 private patient rooms, an expanded pharmacy, lobby, registration area, and expanded kitchen and cafeteria.

The building will allow for an expansion of the hospital’s cardiology and neurology units, and there are plans to develop an oncology unit in the future. Each floor will have an eight-bed intensive care step-down unit and multiple nursing stations. The second floor of the facility will have ante-partum and a women’s services unit, which will be an extension of the hospital’s maternity services.

WRMC now has 158 licensed beds, and with the new patient tower, there will be an additional 95, for a total of 253. The second and third floors will have a total of 80 private acute-care beds, 40 on each floor.

“With more private rooms, less emergency room holds, and improved infrastructure and use of the space,” Carlson said, “this will make a stronger more successful hospital for our community.”

During the groundbreaking ceremony, State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-District 27) announced plans for a new rape victim treatment center in the hospital.

The treatment center will be developed by the hospital staff and Palm Beach County Commissioner Jess Santamaria, and will be the first of its kind in the county.

“This was developed as a treatment center so that anyone who is a victim of sexual assault has a safe place to go if they have been victimized,” Benacquisto said. “We would like to think that these events don’t go on, but when they do, here will be the home of a great program. And we are very excited to have it in Palm Beach County and especially in Wellington.”

Alan Miller, CEO and chairman of Universal Health Services, praised the medical staff at WRMC. “We have great physicians and great equipment,” he said.

The new patient tower will also benefit the community economically because 100 full-time staff positions will be created.