Norfolk, VA – January 24, 2008
– A two-year, $20 million construction project at Sentara Leigh Hospital
will expand the emergency department (ED) and improve clinical areas, including operating rooms.
Patient services will be unaffected during the project. However, there will be shifts in parking lots, walking patterns and internal structures as work progresses.
“Sentara Leigh is expanding and improving for the future,” says vice president and administrator Mark Szalwinski. “We’re excited about this project, but we want to be sure our patients know to expect some changes when they visit the campus.”
For instance, while emergency services will be unchanged, some parking lots will be relocated. Prominent signage will direct emergency patients from parking areas.
When completed, a larger emergency department will feature a new waiting area, new trauma rooms, expanded fast-track treatment section and a new ambulance entrance.
“Emergency patients come to Sentara Leigh from Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake,” Szalwinksi says. “We had more than 48,000 ED visits during 2007 and the number keeps growing, so the department needs to grow as well.”
Other improvements will include expansion and modernization of the hospital’s operating rooms, pre and post-operative procedure rooms for patients and sterile surgical support areas. Changes coming during construction
Patients and visitors may expect some noise from demolition and construction during the day.
Due to the placement of temporary trailers for offices and physician changing rooms dislocated by the project, employee parking is being moved from behind the hospital to the former Roughton dealership, which is fenced, lighted and patrolled by new security personnel. Shuttle buses move Sentara Leigh employees back and forth.
A side entrance beside the cafeteria used by staff and visitors has been closed. All visitors will be directed to the front visitor entrance.
“We are trying to minimize disruptions,” Szalwinski says, “but this is a big project and we hope our patients and visitors will accept short-term inconvenience for long-term benefit.” 2/2008