First published in the Sept. 3 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Capping three years of construction, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center is on the doorstep of opening its new $78-million, state-of-the-art emergency department, a facility that houses leading-edge equipment that will allow for expedited care and increased patient privacy and comfort, Providence Saint Joseph officials said.
It is slated to open to the community next week.
The new 34,500-square-foot emergency department will house 48 beds is nearly triple the size of the medical center’s current emergency department.
Funded solely through community donations and named the Jaromír Střížka Emergency Department, the new Providence Saint Joseph addition is nearly three times bigger than the current facility.
It also is equipped with sophisticated, on-site imaging and lab equipment, which includes an ultrasound machine and CT scanner that will allow for prompt diagnosis and life-saving treatments.
“The Sisters of Providence came to this community nearly 80 years ago with one purpose: to serve and care for this community,” said Chief Executive Karl Keeler.
“This emergency department is an extension of that mission. In addition to the long list of enhancements, we did our best to address some of our biggest health needs when going through the design process, including adding separate behavioral health areas, resuscitation rooms and expansive care stations,” he added.
Keeler said the community deserves access to the highest standard of care, and the Saint Joseph facility allows for just that.
Thanks to these upgrades and an improved triage area, it is anticipated Providence Saint Joseph will have an annual capacity of roughly 93,000 emergency visits, approximately 20,000 more visits than the current facility allows.
As is typical for all emergency departments across the country, patients seeking care will be registered and prioritized for treatment based on severity of illness or injury. Those who come to Providence Saint Joseph will be met by highly trained, board-certified emergency physicians and a compassionate staff.
“So often, patients come to the emergency department worried, scared and in pain, and it’s our job to not only ensure each patient receives the care they need, but they also receive it in a timely fashion,” said Debbie Buffham, MSN, RN, executive director of emergency services at Providence Saint Joseph.
“This new ED places every tool we need to do our jobs at our fingertips. Because of that, the number of patients we’re able to care for, as well as patient flow, will greatly improve,” she added.
The new facility also gives hospital staff access to administrative and physician offices, caregiver lounges and a garden.
“As much as we’re excited about all the benefits to our patients, we’re equally thrilled that this [emergency department] will offer a safe and spacious area for our caregivers and physicians to work and relax,” Keeler said.
“The entire community came together to make this emergency department a reality. We’re truly grateful for the support and humbled to be continuing the legacy of our founding Sisters of Providence,” he added.