Health

Illinois Masonic’s $645 million revamp will include private rooms and an upgraded women’s health center

Block Club Chicago

LAKEVIEW — Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Lakeview is planning an eight-year, $645 million renovation to modernize the hospital.

Hospital leaders want to build a four-story addition and a five-story bed tower to its Advanced Care Center building, according to a application filed with the State Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

Illinois Masonic, 836 W. Wellington Ave., is also seeking to upgrade the first and third floors of its main building while demolishing three other buildings that officials have declared “obsolete,” according to the request.

The Illinois Masonic’s plans are set to be considered by the state board on June 7. If approved, the project could start this summer and be completed by June 2030, creating 332,780 square feet of new space.

“With the completion of this massive project, our campus will foster an environment that represents the excellent care our physicians and team members provide,” Illinois Masonic President Susan Nordstrom Lopez said in the application. of state. “We must ensure that our infrastructure remains at the forefront of innovation and modernization of healthcare. This expansion allows us to increase access and continue to serve our community at the higher level it deserves. »

The ground floor of the Center for Advanced Care building will house the hospital’s Breast Center, which offers mammograms and breast ultrasounds, according to Illinois Masonic. Other floors will house the expanded outpatient oncology program, operating rooms and building equipment, hospital officials said.

Dr. Jude Duval, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Masonic, wrote that “patients would benefit greatly from this expansion.”

“Having a modernized women’s health facility would allow patients[s] give birth in this neighborhood and no longer have [to] traveling away from families and friends,” Duval said.

The bed tower will be built on top of the expanded and current Advanced Care Center building, according to the hospital. Medical/surgical and intensive care inpatient beds will be moved from the main hospital bed tower to the new one. The new bed tower will also house postpartum and NICU beds, hospital officials said.

The Illinois Masonic has 397 beds, but that number will be reduced to 326 when construction is complete because most rooms will be private and single-occupancy, officials said.

“As part of the expansion, the new bed tower will operate with all rooms privatized, a big win for patients and families,” Nordstrom Lopez said. “Having private rooms is very important in the age of the pandemic, and the new bed tower gives us the opportunity to create the right space for our patients and their families.”

The renovation of the hospital’s main building will include an expansion of the hospital’s existing cardiology departments and operating rooms, according to Illinois Masonic.

The project received support from several health officials and doctors who wrote letters of approval to the state review board.

David Ernesto Munar, CEO of Howard Brown Health, the city’s largest LGBTQ-affirming healthcare organization, praised Illinois Masonic’s plans to include efforts to bring its women’s health unit up to contemporary standards. .

“Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is an ally and partner in our mission,” Munar said.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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