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VOL. 110 | NO. 86 | Wednesday, May 1, 1996

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lj 10/5 cates Two hospitals upgrade facilities St. Joseph, Le Bonheur file for $2 million in improvements By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News In an effort to improve patient services and upgrade laboratory technology, two Memphis hospitals are expanding their facilities, according to building permits filed in the Shelby County Building Code Enforcement Office. St. Joseph Hospital is converting one floor of its medical center at 220 Overton Ave. into a 30-bed skilled nursing facility, said Charlie Tirrell, vice president of rehabilitation and support services for the hospital. This facility will be used by recovering patients whose medical conditions require in-patient care but not necessarily the full continuum of hospital services, he said. "Because St. Josephs patient population is primarily geriatric, we found we could benefit from having this type of service on our hospital campus," Tirrell said. The skilled nursing facility is the first phase of St. Josephs six-year renovation plan. The plan was formulated after Cooper & Lybrand completed an assessment of the institution. "We needed to determine what direction we needed to follow," Tirrell said. The goal of the six-year plan is to upgrade the St. Joseph facility to the latest in medical center design standards. Construction on the $1.1 million project will begin as soon as design plans are approved by the states health care facility licensing board. "Well start construction as soon as we get that piece of paper, which should be any week now," Tirrell said. The facility is expected to open its doors for patients in August. Tirrell said the project will require extensive renovation of the existing space in order to bring that part of the building, which was built in 1958, up to 1996 health care facility codes. The entire 19,000-square-foot floor will have to be demolished, down to the concrete slab, ceiling and support beams. "Were essentially building from scratch," Tirrell said. Architects at Pickering Firm Inc., of Memphis designed the project, and S. Webster Haining & Co., also of Memphis, has been selected as the general contractor. An $853,000 renovation at Le Bonheur Childrens Medical Center is upgrading the facilitys second floor laboratories. The project is progressing on schedule, said public relations manager Ed Coleman, and is expected to be complete in August. Laboratory services, including the immunology section, the core lab and the microbiology section have relocated to the Crippled Childrens Foundation Research Center in the West Patient Tower during the five-month renovation period. The blood bank, administration offices and West Patient Tower lab reception will remain on the second floor throughout the construction process.

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