On a day devoted to paper hearts, the warm, beating kind were the focus of a dedication and blessing at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s expanded and remodeled cardiac intensive care unit.
Providence recently finished a two-year, $19.2 million project that added 13 patient beds, bringing the total to 34.
Dr. Leland Siwek, a heart surgeon at Providence Sacred Heart, said the cardiac intensive care program has been so successful over the years that it draws patients from a five-state region. But it’s also been limited by its size.
“It’s been really critical that we increase the number of CICU beds,” he said.
Dr. Timothy Icenogle, a heart transplant surgeon, said the expansion will help Sacred Heart become a center of transplant services within the wider Providence network. Clinics in Missoula, Alaska, Portland and in Western Washington all will funnel patients to Spokane for heart transplants, he said.
The only other heart transplant program for adults in Washington is at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
Providence Health Care Foundation contributed $2 million to the expansion and renovation project and raised another $2 million from the community, $500,000 of which came from the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. An outdoor courtyard in the new unit is named for the tribe.
The patient rooms include movable booms where equipment and monitors are plugged in so that beds can be reoriented toward the windows, when appropriate.
“We’ve created an environment … where our long-term care patients will be able to see the light of day,” said Elaine Couture, chief executive of Providence Health Care in Eastern Washington. For patients and their families, she said, “it brings hope.”
Bishop Thomas Daly, of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, walked the halls of the new unit performing the traditional blessing ceremony Sunday. Francis Cullooyah, cultural director of the Kalispel Tribe, led a Native American ceremony in the hospital’s Mother Joseph Room during the dedication.
Alex Jackson, chief executive of Providence Sacred Heart and Providence Holy Family hospitals, said, “People drive sometimes hundreds of miles to get here. By having more space we’ll be able to touch more lives, care for more community members.”
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