Traveling • Dining • Entertainment
THE HEART AND SPIRIT KEY TO TWO BANNER THUNDERBIRD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
wo new, but very different, patient-care areas are coming soon to Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. The first will be a floor for heart patients equipped with ceiling-mounted antennas to enable staff to remotely monitor the heart rhythms of cardiac patients. You’ll find an antenna or two in the second space, as well, but you’re more likely to spot them on the heads of the butterflies and dragonflies fluttering about. More on that in a bit. Progressive Care Unit The new floor for heart patients, called a Progressive Care Unit, will feature 40 all-private rooms for patients who have a history of heart problems and require close heart monitoring. The unit also serves as a stepping stone for patients well enough to leave
the intensive care unit, but who require a higher level of monitoring than what’s provided in the hospital’s medical-surgical units. The project will amount to a $17.5 million investment into the Glendale campus by nonprofit Banner Health, based in Phoenix. When completed, Banner Thunderbird will have 595-licensed beds, making it the third largest hospital in the Valley. “The new floor will allow us to get patients from the emergency room to a patient room more quickly, even during our busiest times,” said Banner Thunderbird CEO Deb Krmpotic. “It’s going to help make health care easier and life better for some of our sickest patients.” The unit will include a lobby, a conference room and a private consultation room for doctors to meet with families. Construction, which began in September, will convert 36,774 square feet of shelled space on the sixth floor of Thunderbird’s South Tower into the new patient unit. “Shelled space” is space constructed to meet future needs; it is space enclosed by an exterior building shell, but otherwise unfinished inside. It’s anticipated the new unit will open to patients next summer. Outdoor Healing Garden The second project coming to Banner Thun-
FALL 2019 • THE EDUCATION EDITION
derbird is a new outdoor activity and therapy garden for pediatric and adult patients. The yet-to-be-named space will feature interactive activities for children, walking paths, vegetation designed to attract butterflies and designated areas for outdoor education and performances. Additionally, the space will include elements that can be used for patient physical therapy. Child Life Senior Manager Wendy Pauker, whose team works closely with pediatric patients and their families to make their stay less stressful and anxious, said having a relaxing and well-designed outdoor space is incredibly beneficial to patients. “Stepping outside to get a much-needed breath of fresh air is great medicine,” Pauker said. “Our plan in pediatrics is to utilize this new space as often as we can for special events, education and other fun activities.” A golf tournament to raise money to help build the garden will be held Oct. 24 at Topgolf, a new multistory driving range in Glendale that challenges golfers of all ages to hit micro-chipped golf balls into giant targets to score points. For details on this fundraiser and other news about Banner Thunderbird, go to BannerHealth.com/Thunderbird or follow it on Facebook at Facebook.com/BannerThunderbirdMedicalCenter.
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