Laredo Medical Center invests in the future with $22.5 million that will include two Intensive Care Units
For 115 years, Laredo Medical Center has met the healthcare needs of the growing region. They’ve done so by keeping to their mission of providing quality care, close to home.
In 2009, several investments were made making healthcare more convenient for people living in different parts of Laredo, as well as in surrounding communities. The expansion of LMC North and addition of LMC South, as well as the Hebbronville Family Care Center and Zapata Medical Center were major investments made by Laredo Medical Center. Other investments include $1 million in new advanced beds for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the first Digital Mammography in Laredo that produces clearer images for Laredo women.
So what can we expect in 2010?
Lots of changes coming from a $22.5 million expansion at the main hospital that’ll benefit everyone—beginning with a bigger and better Intensive Care Unit.
“It means more people can receive care locally,” said Tim Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer at Laredo Medical Center. “The demographics of Laredo would support probably about 60 beds in intensive care and we’re going to add 20 more beds for a total of 42.”
And more ICU beds means patients and their families will not need to travel out of town.
“Close to home, closer to their families, and people tend to do better when they’re closer and surrounded by their families,” continued Schmidt.
Other renovations in the ICU include 18,000 sq. ft. of new rooms that will be more comfortable and technologically-advanced.
“New ventilators, new beds, new equipment,” described Martin Montante, ICU Director at LMC. “These are all included in the ICU expansion which will help us better take care of our critically ill patients.”
Each room will also be equipped to care for dialysis patients, something very important for this area.
“That means any ICU patient needing dialysis can be placed in any ICU room without having to wait for one to become available.” says Montante.
And with the additional beds comes the addition of a separate ICU to take care of specific medical conditions.
“Right now, in our current ICU, we have a mixture of all kinds of patients, including medical, cardiac and surgical,” Montante explained. “So with the addition of a second ICU, we can separate our patients to meet their needs in a more specific way.”
The new ICU rooms will also come with larger windows both inside and out for better monitoring and more light, as well as better seating available for family.
“They’re all going to have nice comfortable chairs in case family needs to stay,” says Montante.
He also explains our culture calls for a larger waiting area—an improvement LMC included in their investment.
“Here in Laredo we have extended family, so for every one patient in the ICU, there could be at least ten family members in the waiting area.”
So to accommodate family members, the ICU waiting area will become bigger, with comfortable chairs, large flatscreen TVs, and even a coffee stand and vending machines.
All these improvements being made to provide better care and better service for intensive care patients and their family members—something local physicians say is important to their treatment of patients.
“The new expansion, the new staff, it’s going to be great,” said Dr. Benson Huang, Pulmonologist and Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit at LMC. “It’s something that’s been needed in our community for a long time.”
Not only is the expansion great news for healthcare in Laredo, but the addition will also add to the local economy. About a hundred construction jobs will be awarded through contractors and subcontractors, as well as the additional healthcare personnel LMC will hire to staff the extra ICU rooms (about 50 new nurses) and the growing hospital departments.
Groundbreaking for Laredo Medical Center’s expansion is scheduled for this March. For more information, contact LMC’s Marketing Department at (956) 796-3223 or visit www.laredomedical.com.