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IRMC kicks off campaign for $55 M expansion

| Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, 1:54 p.m.
IRMC President and CEO Stephen Wolfe addresses those atteding a Nov. 1 groundbreaking ceremony for the IRMC Centennial Building Project.
Bruce Siskawicz | The Dispatch
IRMC President and CEO Stephen Wolfe addresses those atteding a Nov. 1 groundbreaking ceremony for the IRMC Centennial Building Project.
This artist's rendering depicts the planned IRMC Centennial Building expansion and improvements, including floors added above the emergency room, at right.
Bruce Siskawicz | The Dispatch
This artist's rendering depicts the planned IRMC Centennial Building expansion and improvements, including floors added above the emergency room, at right.

Indiana Regional Medical Center is living up to its motto, “Honoring our past, embracing our future,” after breaking ground Nov. 1 for its Centennial Building Project and launching a related capital campaign.

As part of the building project, the hospital complex will acquire new operating room suites; a new intensive care unit; a new ambulatory care unit for outpatient surgery and endoscopy, including a post-anesthesia care unit; and a 15-bed post-acute care unit. The total project will add about 40,000 square feet of new construction to the current facility and will renovate an estimated 45,000 square feet of texisting features.

New technology and equipment will also be installed, the major purchase being a linear accelerator used in cancer care, “to help join the front line of the fight against cancer at the Herbert L. Hanna Oncology Center,” said Stephen Wolfe, IRMC president and CEO.

Wolfe remarked that the building project is an anomaly among most community healthcare facilities in the state.

“In an era when many community hospitals are merging or downsizing services, thanks to this community, IRMC is making bold steps forward to remain a locally controlled and owned hospital,” Wolfe said.

He stated that the project is building on the foundation that was established nearly a century ago, when on Nov. 1, 1914, a group of founding community leaders gathered to open Indiana Hospital.

Then, it was a 40-bed facility with 13 private rooms. It has grown over the years into a 50-acre main campus with 164 beds, serving an estimated 250,000 patients per year.

Additons over the years have included the Iselin Building in 1929, the Mack Wing in 1938, the East Wing in 1956, the Patient Tower in 1979, and a major expansion that came in 2002-03 with the construction of the Bork Emergency Center, behavioral health unit and Herbert L. Hanna Oncology Center.

But the Nov. 1 groundbreaking marks the beginning of the largest building project in the hospital's century of existence, Wolfe noted.

The $55 million expansion and renovation is set to begin in December and will stretch over three stages, with a slated finish sometime in 2016.

IRMC chief operating officer Dominic Paccapaniccia noted that, when the Bork Emergency Center was built early in this century, two floors were constructed but the structure met specifications for four floors, allowing for future expansion.

The first two floors will continue to house the emergency department and the behavioral health unit. Representing the majority of the new construction, the new third floor will contain a central processing area and ICU, and the fourth floor will house the new operating theater and larger operating rooms.

Dr. Edward McDowell, medical staff director and campaign physician co-chair, noted that the project will not only help increase capacity and improve the look of the building, it will be a boon to the healthcare providers through expanded space to work and updated equipment.

“It's not just about the surroundings, but even quality people can't do their best work if they have out-of-date facilities,” McDowell stated, pointing out how the expanded ER unit increased that department's capacity for care.

A cardiologist, McDowell said the improved facilities could allow the hospital to soon have the capability to perform coronary intervention procedures.

He said the new linear accelerator will help in delivering radiation treatments with precision to cancer patients. It will replace a unit that is nearly 10 years old.

The budget for the building project includes an estimated $35 million in construction, $15 million in soft costs and $5 million for lobby renovations.

The hospital has secured grants, is spending a portion of its reserves, and is borrowing money through a bond issuance to help cover the project costs, and it is now turning to its employees, volunteers and the community at large to give what they can.

“Having done all that we can to help ourselves, we're asking the Indiana community to come alongside and help make this vision a reality,” Wolfe said.

Significant gifts from donors can secure naming rights for the new lobby, the operating theater and several other areas of the facility.

Some of the centennial project work has already begun, including the relocation of access to the heli-pad and paving of several parking areas. The first phase of construction, which will include new public elevators and the two-story addition, is expected to continue through February 2015. Third- and fourth-floor renovations are to be completed in two more phases — one wrapping up in September 2015, the other in March 2016.

“It's an exciting proposition, to see how dedicated this hospital is to our community, but it's also just as exciting to see how dedicated our community is to this hospital,” state Rep. Dave Reed said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “That partnership will allow us to lay the foundation for another 100 years of service here at Indiana Regional Medical Center to the greater Indiana community.”

“We've all been impacted by this hospital in one way or another,” state Sen. Don White remarked. He noted that his two children were born there.

Fundraising for the hospital project began two years ago with help from Joe Reschini, centennial capital campaign chairman, and the Indiana Healthcare Foundation. The theme for the campaign is “From one century to the next.”

“I believe there's no more important community asset than our hospital,” Reschini said, noting that IRMC is one of the area's largest employers. He also pointed out that quality healthcare is often a deciding factor for people looking to move to the area and for employers moving to the area as well.

The project also boasted 100 percent participation from the hospital boards and senior leadership teams, he added.

So far, various fundraising efforts have raised approximately $2 million towards the $5 million campaign goal.

Heather Reed, executive director of the Indiana Healthcare Foundation, said the foundation is focusing on soliciting donations from volunteers and employees as well as from the community, and that no other specific fundraising events have been planned at this time.

People interested in giving to the centennial capital campaign can do so through the IRMC website,, and clicking on the Indiana Healthcare Foundation tab. Donations will also be accepted over the phone by calling the foundation office at 724-357-8053.

Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2915 or

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