Janesville71.3°

Edgerton healthcare provider unveils plan

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Stacy Vogel
November 28, 2007
— Edgerton Hospital and Health Services has carved its niche through personalized care in a small facility, hospital officials say.

So when it set out to build a new facility, it wanted to make sure patient considerations were front and center.


“The emphasis is to be first and foremost patient-friendly,” CEO Jim Pernau said. “We want to have a lot of light, a healing atmosphere, airy, with windows—not institutional.”


The company displayed the first detailed plan for its “non-institutional” hospital Tuesday at The Gathering Place in Milton. Another open house will take place at 4 p.m. today at the Edgerton Hospital and Health Services cafeteria, 313 Stoughton Road, Edgerton.


Over and over, hospital board members, employees and planners emphasized three things they took into account with the design: patients, employees and the environment.


The 25-bed hospital and medical office building will set an example of green health care, said Jim Schultz, foundation chairman.


“When people realize what we’re trying to do is create a model for health care and energy efficiency, I think they’ll take more notice,” he said.


Gene Wells, project manager with the firm Eppstein Uhen: Architects, said planners are considering many environmentally friendly options, such as efficient plumbing, “daylighting” measures that bounce daylight into a building and alternative energy.


Planners also are considering how best to accommodate patients on a micro level, she said.


“You try to pay attention to how far people walk, and you try to make sure the rooms people are waiting in have a nice view,” she said.


The 70,000- to 80,000-square-foot hospital will have more space for just about every department, she said.


Karen Greene, Edgerton, knows the hospital needs the extra space. The surgical technologist has worked 43 years in the old building, built in 1923 with several additions along the way.


“We’ve just outgrown the old hospital,” she said.


Dwayne and Jean Heth, Milton, said the hospital needs a bigger facility to compete with large health care providers such as Mercy Health System. Dwayne’s mother received long-term care from Edgerton Hospital for seven years, and he serves on the hospital’s long-term board.


“You take a big thing like this, it takes a long time to pay for it, but they certainly need it to face competition,” Jean Heth said.


“It’s going to be tough to beat Mercy Hospital,” Dwayne Heth said.


But Walt Diedrick, Edgerton, said he’s been coming to Edgerton Hospital most of his 77 years because he likes the small size. He recalls having surgery and realizing he was on a first-name basis with everyone in the room.


“You can’t get any better than that, because you know they’re not going to shuffle you off as just a patient,” he said.


“I expect it’ll only get better.”


ABOUT THE NEW FACILITY

A new hospital and medical office building will be part of a “healthy village” that Jim Pernau, CEO of Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, envisions for 70 acres along Highway 59.


Pernau hopes to engage other health care providers for the campus and integrate preventative, alternative and traditional medicine, he said.


Last year, the hospital expressed interest in bringing the YMCA to the campus, but that idea hasn’t gotten far, yet, Pernau said.


“I think the YMCA is really focused on Janesville right now,” he said.


One building that is a sure part of the healthy village is a skilled nursing home, Pernau said. Plans for the nursing home haven’t been unveiled, yet.


The hospital and the exterior of the medical office building are expected to cost about $26 million, Pernau said.


While the total might seem like a lot, it’s in line with other new hospitals, he said.


“When you factor in all the other things that go in, labs and X-rays and patient rooms, that seems to be a pretty rough estimate,” he said.


The hospital expects to break ground in the spring and finish by late 2009, said Nancy Hoffman, director of marketing and the hospital’s foundation.



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