May 10, 2010 11:56 PM by David Ortiviz

Parkview expansion offers more patient privacy

In Pueblo, a $31 million expansion project at Parkview Medical Center is nearly complete. This is the hospital's 7th major addition since it first opened in the 1920s, and like previous projects the focus is to improve patient care. "Every few years it's been a major overtaking," said Vince Velasquez, Director of Facilities and Construction at Parkview Medical Center.

The six-story expansion adds 92,000 sq. ft. to Parkivew hospital. "We have a cardiac floor, we have an oncology floor, a medical surgical floor," said Michelle Peulen, Public Relations Specialist for Parkview Medical Center.

The hospital started the project in Fall 2008 after asking patients and staff a simple question: How can we improve? "The biggest thing that kept coming up was private rooms," said Puelen.

The new addition will feature more than 50 private rooms. Right now crews are wiring, sanding and painting on the 5th level, but just a couple floors below. More than half the rooms are finished and open to patients like Carol Sprague. "My first initial reaction was nice sized rooms for people to come visit and they're not crowded," said Sprague.

With hardwood floors and a warm decor, the rooms are pleasing for patients and beneficial for the hospital. "The private rooms helps out with our infection rates, it helps out with privacy issues, and it just lends itself to a healing environment," said Peulen.

Aside from more rooms, the expansion includes a new entrance and main lobby, plus a gift shop and café. It's a new era of growth for this historic hospital, but likely not the last. "We have one more area for a tower to be built that ties into this existing tower," said Velasquez. For now, there will be a total of 350 beds and for most patients, more privacy.

Parkview hospital plans to hold a grand opening in June.

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