Soon-to-open Edward Plainfield ER and Cancer Center featured in Joliet Herald News.
New Edward care centers near reality
July 28, 2009
By JANET LUNDQUIST
PLAINFIELD -- Soon Plainfield-area residents will be able to get medical care for bumps, bruises and broken bones -- and fight cancer -- closer to home.
Edward Hospital and Health Services is nearly finished building an emergency room and a cancer center, located in the outpatient center on the Edward medical campus near 127th Street and Van Dyke Road.
Both the Edward Plainfield Emergency Room and the Edward Plainfield Cancer Center are scheduled to open in September.
A double-sided fireplace will flicker on one side of the circular Cancer Center lobby. Upstairs, another fireplace will greet visitors while chemotherapy patients will look out on a rooftop garden complete with a putting green, waterfall and trellis.
"It's visually very relaxing for people who are in here," said Sonia Baweja, a medical oncologist at Edward Cancer Center. The open, bright room and outdoor garden help put patients and their families at ease, she said.
"When children come they realize this is not a place where people are just lying down looking sick," she said.
The $18 million, 30,000-square-foot cancer center will open in phases. First the medical oncology department on the second floor will open Sept. 1. Radiation oncology will be available Dec. 1 in Plainfield.
The Plainfield center will provide services similar to those currently offered at Edward Cancer Center in Naperville.
24-hour emergency care
Starting Sept. 14, the Edward Plainfield Emergency Room -- an upgrade of the immediate care center -- will be open around the clock.
Officials say patients won't have to wait more than 30 minutes on average to see a doctor.
The emergency room will provide X-rays, CT scans and ultrasound, private treatment rooms and specialized rooms for critical care, a new triage room and waiting area.
Doctors now will be able to handle more complicated emergency situations than they could through the immediate care center, such as asthma attacks, stitches, high fevers and broken bones, Edward officials say.
"We feel like we can handle pretty much anything that comes through our door," said Pete Schubel, medical director of the Edward Plainfield Emergency Room.
John Eichelberger, chief of the Plainfield Fire Protection District, said serious Advanced Life Support situations -- such as people suffering heart attacks and serious head injuries -- will still need to go directly to a full-service hospital.
"When the full hospital gets here, that'll make the biggest difference," Eichelberger said, adding that now it can take 45 minutes for an ambulance to return to the service area after taking a patient to one of several area hospitals. Plainfield paramedics take patients to hospitals in Joliet, Bolingbrook and Aurora.
"We're right in the middle of everybody, but nobody's close," Eichelberger said.
Patients who drive themselves to the Edward Plainfield ER, then find they need to go to a hospital will be transported by an ambulance waiting on-site.
Full-service site on table
Edward officials have not been specific about the timing of their plan to file another application with the state to build a full-service hospital in Plainfield.
Pam Davis, Edward Hospital's president and CEO, said in a written statement that officials continue to "review the regulatory and economic environment to find the best time to bring forward another proposal to build Edward Plainfield Hospital."
New legislation regulating the state's Health Facilities Planning Board, which makes decisions on applications for new medical facilities, expands the board from five to nine members as of March 1. It also removes the board's executive secretary position.
Gov. Pat Quinn also asked that the board members' salaries be removed, citing budget concerns.
Edward Vice President Brian Davis said Monday it's too early to tell whether the changes will increase the hospital's chances of approval.
The Plainfield hospital project has been in the works since 2003. Edward's third application for project approval was denied by the state board last year.
Edward has submitted a letter of intent to apply again for approval. The hospital would be constructed east of the emergency room and outpatient care building.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services