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July 16, 2009
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

University Hospital’s new East Tower opens with 138 spacious, private patient rooms

Syracuse, N.Y.—University Hospital’s new East Tower welcomed more than 100 patients and their families to spacious private patient rooms. The hospital opened three floors of the six-story tower, which has been under construction since Fall 2006.

The eighth, ninth and 10th floors of the East Tower (Cardiovascular, Neuroscience, Oncology services, respectively) feature 138 spacious private rooms that are 85 square feet larger than University Hospital’s existing shared patient rooms.

“That’s the most eye-catching difference,” said Paul Seale, chief operating officer of University Hospital and co-chair of the East Tower Steering Committee. “The moment you step on these units, you are impressed with the amount of space that’s dedicated to patients and their families.”

One of the other most significant changes in the East Tower is decentralized nursing care with charting stations located between two patient rooms.

Katie Mooney, chief nursing officer, said the design elements in the East Tower help provide the foundation for the hospital’s commitment to patient and family centered care, a concept that builds partnerships among patients, their families and the healthcare team.

Family lounges, education and classrooms and conference rooms highlight the new space as well as sofas and chairs in patient rooms that can accommodate an overnight stay.

Last week’s move of patients, July 8, to the East Tower went like clockwork, officials said. The first patients and their medical teams began the move at 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. all patients had been transferred.

More than 200 employees, who were assigned to work that day, and some hospital volunteers were part of the moving process, assisting in various ways.

Some units carried out a dress rehearsal of sorts to ensure that there are no unforeseen hitches in the move. Families of patients moved to the new tower were informed ahead of time and helped carry patient to the new rooms.

“Everyone has been so supportive and understanding throughout the entire East Tower construction process, especially the patients and their families,” said John McCabe, M.D., the hospital’s interim chief executive officer. “To all, I say ?thank you.’

The remaining two floors of the East Tower, the 11th and 12th, contain the Golisano Children’s Hospital and that is expected to open in September.

University Hospital is part of SUNY Upstate Medical University.

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