Dignity Health on track to expand its presence in valley

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospital is growing. It broke ground this year on an expansion to its Siena campus, 3001 St. Rose Parkway.

The 328,078-square-foot campus opened in 2000 and currently has 230 beds. The expansion will add 107 new private beds, a dedicated cardiology area with direct access to cath lab suites, expanded imaging with PET/CT essential for diagnosis of cancer, six additional operating room suites and double the size of the emergency room, with 32 new bed/observation bays and a dedicated trauma bay.

Once the new construction is completed, the hospital will be able to extend its care to more patients. The addition will be a five-story structure, located directly opposite the main entrance. It will add nearly 220,000 square feet, with the top floor shelled for future construction. Other changes include a new parking garage, expanding the admitting area to make it more private and revamping the dining room, outpatient surgery area, pharmacy and loading dock.

The expansion was on the company’s radar for five to seven years as it rode out the economy and demands from other markets. Despite the temporarily delayed construction, the company opted not to trim anything from the original plans. The cost is approximately $160 million. Contractor Kitchell expects it to be completed by late 2015 or early 2016.

The first of the three Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals, the Rose de Lima Campus, 102 E. Lake Mead Parkway, was established in 1947 when the Adrian Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich., purchased Basic Magnesium Hospital from the U.S. government for $1 a year for 25 years. A $25 million, four-story expansion was completed in 1991. The hospitals have been serving patients in Henderson and Las Vegas for more than 65 years.

Dignity likes to say that it is more than a name, that it espouses a gentle, understanding approach to administering health care. Dr. Myra Lee Glassman, who was a physician for 40 years, had ankle issues and was treated with orthopedic surgery for ankle instability likely brought on by arthritis at the outpatient division of St. Rose Siena. She was there three times.

“I was extremely impressed with the nursing care,” Glassman said. “They were caring even though they were obviously very busy. The charge nurse in the post-op recovery, Toni (Desantos), I felt like I should buy her roller skates. … They always made sure every patient was cared for properly and everything was done with a smile.”

Glassman said the attention to infection control — washing hands and using disinfectants — was always adhered to.

She was invited to participate in the patient advisory committee and said she “jumped at the opportunity because this is a facility that is looking at what they can do to improve it. They want to hear constructive criticism.”

“In the past — and I’ve been a nurse for 30 years — patients would stay a lot longer in the hospital,” said Maggie Ozan-Rafferty, chief experience officer for Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospital. “Across the country, that’s been changed. You used to spend five or six days in the hospital; now they’re here two or three days. Less time in the hospital is better for them, anyway, to be at home, healing.”

Jeanne Kim, a single mom, became acquainted with Dignity Health-St. Rose when her son, Steven, was young.

“There were times he’d tumble on the stairs and fall on his head, and he slipped in the bathroom and cut his chin,” she said. “The staff there was great. … They were, like, ‘Oh, we’ve got to wrap him up like a little fish,’ and stuff like that, kind of cute.”

Last July, Steven experienced urological difficulties. He was in so much pain, Kim said he could barely walk.

“A a preteen, it’s difficult to go up to a physician and say, ‘My private parts are painful when I’m trying to take care of my business in the bathroom.’ … The doctor was very positive, outgoing, and the nurse was very attentive, as well,” Kim said.

Upon learning that Steven wanted to be a doctor, there was a conversation that enlightened the youngster on such a choice.

“The comfort level was unlike any other,” Kim said. “They sat together and chatted, and, for me, it was like, ‘This person really cares.’ ”

Dignity’s mission extends to its employees, as well, Ozan-Rafferty said. It holds Ministry Leadership Formation classes each quarter. The one-day events are held off-site at a local church, with no cellphones or work calendars allowed.

“It gives us time to pause and reflect,” Ozan-Rafferty said. “Personally, I’ve had a lot of formal leadership education because I’m a doctorially prepared health administrator, but this is very reflective in nature. Rather than learning theory as you would in an academic situation, we spend a lot of time reflecting on our leadership styles and how it applies to our daily work with patients. … It helps me understand our mission on a deeper level and connect with patients on a deeper level.”

For more information, visit strosehospitals.org.

Contact Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 702-387-2949.

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