After years of construction, the new Tower Building at Jackson South Hospital opens to the public on Feb. 21.

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….
After years of construction, the new Tower Building at Jackson South Hospital opens to the public on Feb. 21.

The four-story building holds 48 new private rooms, many with a view of the Coral Reef Golf Course, a 12-bed Intensive Care Unit, a new outpatient surgical area, eight operating rooms and a cauterization lab for cardiac procedures. The project includes a new 22-bed emergency room, which opened Nov. 22, 2010.

The existing building was erected in the 1970s and will be modernized when the new building opens.

“What we’re doing now is building a new waiting area, a new triage area and a minor care area,” said Laura Lagomasino, hospital spokesperson.

A portion of the ground floor in the existing building will become a cafeteria. The funding for the project came from a bond issue approved by voters.

Before the Tower Building opens for operations, there was a formal ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for Feb. 10 with county dignitaries.

Although the construction has been ongoing for years, information about the new building and the modernization of the old building isn’t as well known as hospital administrators would like. So they have embarked on a campaign to remind residents of the services the hospital performs.

Ric Cuming, vice-president and chief administrative officer of Jackson South, said he doesn’t think people realize that Jackson South has high patient satisfaction ratings, or that the hospital has been a part of the Jackson Health System for 10 years.

“We have really phenomenal and important services for the community,” Cuming said. “Our employees provide patient care in a way that is effective. We want to get the word out about Jackson South.”

The marketing effort includes an electronic billboard on the hospital grounds aimed at drivers on SW 152nd Street telling them about the services offered at the hospital. The marketing department also has sent out mailers to critical zip codes to educate area residents about Jackson South.

Among other services, the hospital has a Digestive Center of Health, which treats heartburn with state of the art techniques; Colorectal Care; a Center for Orthopedic and Sports Medicine; general surgery, and even a Robotic Technology Center.

Lagomasino said Jackson South is working with VITAS by leasing out space in the existing building for Hospice Care and the hospital is expanding cardiac and vascular programs because of the new cauterization lab, under the auspices of Dr. James Margolis.

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