Changes are underway at Passavant Area Hospital to make the exterior safer.
Last week saw the start of a project to renovate the exterior of the emergency room entrance at Passavant in an effort to make the approach to the entrance safer and more accessible.
Affiliate Vice President for Passavant Jim Krug says the emergency department parking lot has been in tough shape for some time with heaving and settling of the concrete becoming more of a hazard for falls.
A project is now underway to completely replace the existing concrete to reduce the risk of injury in the lot that sees heavy traffic twenty-four hours a day. Krug says the replacement of the concrete is just a part of the work being undertaken.
“We are going to install a much wider wheelchair access ramp with handrails. Today it seems to be a little narrow for two-way traffic to get through there, especially if you have someone with a walker or a wheelchair. So we are going to bring up the standards on that to be a two-way, and it’s also going to have some nice handrails for folks to hang onto as they come in and out of the hospital.”
Krug says the emergency department entrance is remaining open during the work and signage has been posted to direct traffic around the work zones.
He says Passavant has been working with Ameren Illinois in Jacksonville to update lighting both inside and outside of the complex. Krug says visitors to Passavant will see improved lighting throughout all of the parking lots on the campus.
“You’ll probably notice, especially as we get the new addition done to the medical office building, we are putting in not only a lot more lampposts but we are replacing those light bulbs that are existing today with LED, so it’s going to look like a landing strip there for a while.
And the thing that we were after was improving the security in that parking lot. We do have cameras throughout the facility especially in the parking lots. As it gets later in the year and is dark at five o’clock we have a lot of colleagues moving in and out of the hospital.
So one of the things that are kind of a side benefit not from the energy savings standpoint, but from the safety standpoint, it gives the security officers a lot more visibility on the cameras to see what’s going on.”
Work also is continuing on the east side of the hospital where a 36,000 square foot expansion of the medical office building is in its final stages. Krug says the project which began approximately 18 months ago is set to be completed in October of this year.
The new expansion will be home to Springfield Clinic who is expanding services to include more family practice and primary care as well as ophthalmology, diabetes, and kidney disease services. The addition also includes a 10-bed medical oncology unit on the second floor.