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Pardon the dust: Good Shepherd expansion underway

A construction worker uses a backhoe to excavate soil last month as crews begin to work on an addition to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.
A construction worker uses a backhoe to excavate soil last month as crews begin to work on an addition to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

BARRINGTON – As construction crews begin work on a $247 million expansion and modernization project at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, officials are working to minimize the affect of construction on patients and visitors.

Construction started in October. Officials expect to complete the overhaul in 2017, though some parts of the project will be done before then. The entire project was staged with patients in mind, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital President Karen Lambert said.

“A lot of thought has gone into this,” she said. “Patient care and safety is our No. 1 priority.”

The project, which was approved by the state’s Health Facilities and Services Review Board in June, includes erecting a building on the north side of the existing facility to house private patient rooms. Half of the hospital’s current rooms are dual occupancy. The new building will have all private rooms. Once completed in 2016, patients will be moved.

Advocate Good Shepherd will increase its total bed count from 169 to 176, with seven additional beds in the Intensive Care Unit. It will modernize clinical services such as radiology, ambulatory care services, and cardiovascular and pulmonary testing. New, larger operating rooms will be equipped with the latest imaging equipment and cameras.

Much of the rest of the hospital also will get a makeover, including the administration center, visitors’ areas, lobby, simulation laboratory, chapel and conference center.

Construction issues are discussed at daily safety briefings, and construction work is limited to daytime hours, Lambert said.

“We’re very aware of the noise,” she said. “But we’ve done everything possible to minimize the impact on patients.”

Plans took into account lessons learned from past renovations at Good Shepherd and other Advocate hospitals, said Allison Wyler, director of the modernization project.

Patients won’t notice much of a difference, at least at first, Lambert said. However, during some phases of the project, they will be encouraged to use free valet service to avoid longer walks from the parking areas, especially during the winter.

Hospital officials launched www.advocatehealth.com/GoodShepherdModernization to keep patients informed about the ongoing construction work and progress on the project.

“Minimizing the effects on patient care has been an integral component of the planning process,” hospital spokeswoman Lisa O’Neil said. “Good Shepherd Hospital will be completely operational during the entire modernization project. The impact of construction on patients initially will be minimal since the new patient room building will be outside the hospital. Once that phase is complete, patients will be in the private rooms.”


The new, larger operating rooms will be among the first parts of the project to be completed. The hospital’s existing operating rooms don’t have enough space for modern robotic surgical devices and other specialized equipment, said Dr. Dean Feldman, an anesthesiologist at the hospital.

Most of the operating rooms were built in the 1970s and weren’t designed to accommodate the equipment or the number of people now considered essential for some medical procedures.

“These types of enhancements will keep us operating at that high-level of care Advocate is known for,” he said. “It’s great to see Advocate investing in this.”

The eight new operating rooms will have about twice the square-footage of the hospital’s current facilities, Feldman said. They should be completed in 2016.

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