UTHSCT’s new and expanded ICU designed by physicians and nurses to provide the best in patient-centered care

Friday, February 5, 2010

The new intensive care unit (ICU) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler was designed to provide the best possible environment for healing.

Planned with patient comfort and safety in mind, its larger-than-standard rooms house equipment ceiling booms to reduce clutter and allow better access to patients in an emergency situation.

Large windows allow sunlight to flow into each room, thus enhancing the healing environment.

The new 14-bed ICU covers 15,000 square feet on the second floor of the patient tower, Building A on the UTHSCT campus. Renovations of the space began Sept. 1, 2009.

About 100 people attended the dedication of the new ICU held Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010.

They included members of the UTHSCT Development Board, as well as UTHSCT supporters, donors, and employees.

UTHSCT Development Board Chairman Herb Buie, Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass, UTHSCT Vice President and Chief Development Officer Mac Griffith, and UTHSCT Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Marshall spoke briefly at the dedication.

"This ICU was designed by our physicians and nurses, who worked directly with architects and contractors to create a patient-centered unit. They gave us insight into how a well-designed ICU can help them take better care of patients,” Marshall said.

“For example, all the medical technology used to care for the patient is located around the patient’s bed and can be easily moved if need be,” Marshall said.

In addition, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals stationed at the ICU’s central console have clear lines of sight into each patient room.

The ICU features an advanced ventilation system that can provide fresh air exchanges up to 19 times an hour as compared with the typical 12 times an hour in most ICU patient rooms.

It also has an independent power supply, and a self-contained heating and air conditioning system in the event the rest of UTHSCT campus would lose power.

State Rep. Tommy Merritt, R-Longview, was one of the local officials who attended the dedication.

“UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk Calhoun and the UTHSCT staff are to be commended for their outstanding efforts in developing a premier healthcare and medical research facility,” Rep. Merritt said after the ceremony.

“I am proud to work on behalf of the UTHSCT in the Legislature and look forward to the groundbreaking of the Texas State Veterans Home," he added."

The long-term care facility for veterans is being constructed on 20 acres donated by UTHSCT. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Texas Veterans Land Board.

For 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatments, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. With an operating budget of more than $125 million and biomedical research funding that exceeds $10 million annually, UTHSCT has a major economic impact on East Texas. Its two medical residency programs – in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities in East Texas and beyond.

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