By William K. Alcorn
Today marks a new beginning for Northside Medical Center, said Kent Brown, Northside chief operating officer at ValleyCare Health System of Ohio.
Brown and other dignitaries attended a ribbon-cutting Tuesday for the $20 million expansion of the hospital’s emergency department and new main entrance on Gypsy Lane.
The ceremony was followed by an open house for employees and media. An open house for the public is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
The emergency department entrance is open, and the main entrance is scheduled to open Monday.
ValleyCare invested $20 million to add a 30,000-square-foot tower to expand the emergency department and create a new main entrance, while more than 28,000 square feet of the rest of the hospital was upgraded.
“These changes allow us to be more accessible and efficient, while demonstrating our commitment to investing in health care for the Mahoning Valley. It is the new face of Northside Medical Center,” Brown said.
Updates to Northside’s emergency department, a designated Level III trauma center, are being completed in phases to accommodate the 24/7 operation.
While the majority of the emergency department construction and renovations are finished, the final phases will be completed by the end of the year,” said Dr. Neal Tishman, director of emergency services.
“Patients can expect to experience more privacy and less noise through the creation of 21 private examination and trauma rooms. Our goal is excellent care in a safe and comfortable environment,” Dr. Tishman said.
Northside will continue its commitment to serve patients in 30 minutes or less and enhance the quality of care that earned the hospital accreditation as a stroke center and accredited chest-pain center, he said.
“The new building is spectacular. It is always good to celebrate positive events in the Mahoning Valley. In the end, it’s about community and caring for its residents,” said Sandy Kessler, chairman of the Northside Board of Trustees and executive director of the Jewish Community Center.
“Northside has a long-standing presence in the community, and this expansion is a great accomplishment that couldn’t have been done without the support of the employees, physicians, volunteers and community members,” Kessler said.
ValleyCare’s investment not only changed the appearance of the hospital but enables the delivery of services in a more-centralized and convenient way, said Dr. John Gianetti, a native of Girard and president of the Northside medical staff.
In the three-story addition, the most-visible component is a new main entrance that serves as a central location from which patients and visitors access hospital resources.
Hospital officials said a new ground-floor lobby includes registration, pre-admission testing, outpatient lab services, waiting rooms, a gift shop and an information center. Also, the addition improves patient convenience by extending the hospital closer to the parking garage.
Surgical services are combined in a single site by moving outpatient surgery to the first floor adjacent to surgery suites.
The addition of 21 private patient holding rooms streamline the surgical experience for patients and providers.
On the second floor, endoscopy services will be enhanced with a new waiting area and the addition of two endoscopy suites and a bronchoscopy room. The second floor will be open next month when work is completed.
Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally called completion of the project a “great day for the city” and said Northside is a cornerstone for the North Side community.
The quality care available at Northside is also a great day for Mahoning Valley businesses, said Thomas Humphries, chief executive officer of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.
“Our hospital is one of the greatest facilities you can come to for care,” said Kimberly Tyson of Youngstown, a patient-care associate who has worked at Northside for more than 30 years.