The project to build a new Living Center at St. John’s Medical Center reached an important milestone last week when the Board of Trustees approved construction of a new facility with three senior care neighborhoods and a dedicated unit for transitional care patients. The new Living Center will replace a facility that is nearly three decades old and, despite earning a coveted “5-Star” rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is straining to meet current community need, due to its institutional configuration of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, long halls, communal showers, and numerous uses of common space. All residents and patients in the new facility will have private sleeping suites in a homelike environment.
After a series of intensive committee meetings and public input sessions for predesign and programming, the board voted at a special public board meeting on April 5 to accept the recommendation of St. John’s strategy committee to build a 72-bed facility. The center will provide two 20-bed, long-term care neighborhoods, one of which will offer memory support services. An additional 16-bed memory care neighborhood will be available for residents who require a secured environment for their health and safety. Hospice care will be available in all three long-term care neighborhoods. In addition, the center will house a 16-bed transitional care unit for patients requiring short-term rehabilitation after a surgery or other medical event such as stroke.
Some companion suites, featuring private sleep areas and shared in-suite bath, will also be available to accommodate interest in this type of living arrangement. Within the individual neighborhoods, there will be spaces for community meal preparation and dining and socializing. The facility will also feature a flexible common space with a small café and areas for a wide range of life-enriching programming. Highlights include wellness, educational, and cultural activities, all of which support the Living Center’s Eden philosophy of supporting seniors in respectful and dignified aging. The Living Center is the only Eden-registered facility in the state of Wyoming. (edenalt.org)
“The engagement of our task force, staff, board committees, residents and families, and other community members is really remarkable,” said CEO Paul Beaupré, MD. “Combined with the expertise of the architects and strategic business planning partners, I’m confident that this community effort has allowed us to pinpoint our focus to a scope and program that will serve this community very well.”
“I’m pleased that we were able to finalize a project scope that gives us the opportunity to flex our spaces for future needs. This is vital, since long-term care is part of an increasingly dynamic continuum of senior care services. By focusing on flexibility of spaces, we will be able to open the new center with more capacity than we originally planned,” said Board Chair Cynthia Hogan. “The Trustees are very comfortable that our business plan for the new center represents the best possible intersection of fiduciary responsibility for the acute care hospital and affiliated programs with the desire to offer a modernized new home for community seniors requiring residential nursing care.”
With scope and programming now clearly confirmed, the next step is to work with a construction management team to deliver this project, said Beaupré. Public meetings will be held on April 16 to select a construction manager at risk for the project. For more information, visit www.ANewHomeForANewAge.org