When patients walk in to the Forest Park Medical Center in Southlake on June 10, they might not recognize it as a hospital.The open lobby features floor to ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light, interior decor with mood lighting, a glass waterfall and groups of couches and chairs that would look more in place on the floor of a furniture store than a hospital lobby.“Look at this place. Have you ever seen a hospital that looked like this,” asked Dr. Reed Williams, medical development director at LandPlan, the co-developer of the medical center.The facility, located just off State Highway 114, was built in 13 months. It already has surgeries scheduled when it opens. Those surgeries will be conducted in one of the hospital’s 12 operating rooms that feature state-of-the-art equipment.One of those pieces is the da Vinci SI surgical system, which allows surgeons to use a digital monitor to control robotic arms, which doctors say help relieve pain. During the open house, guests were given an opportunity to use the machine.Colleyville resident Doyle Welch said the most memorable part of the tour was the operating rooms, which are larger than operating rooms in other hospitals.“It’s a cut above,” he said. “It’s bigger and better than state of the art.”Dr. Robert Wyatt, Forest Park managing director, noted how unique the facility’s operating rooms are.“Less than 20 percent of hospitals have them,” he said about the da Vinci system. “Less than 5 percent of hospitals have operating rooms this size.“Having big ORs is better medicine.”In addition to the operating rooms, the hospital has six Intensive Care Unit beds, 54 private inpatient rooms and 10 family suites. Family suites include a separate seating area for families and their visitors.Al Zito, Southlake resident and former city councilman, was in awe by the quality of the rooms.“I think I might need to go to the hospital,” he joked. “This is phenomenal.”The hospital will open with 200 physicians and 150 nurses.Beyond the facility’s physical appearance, many of the people behind the project were happy to see the vision of Forest Park’s physician-owned roots come to fruition.Mayor John Terrell said the hospital is an excellent addition to the city.“We are all about excellence,” he said. “It was clear from day one... that you’re about excellence as well.“This puts an iconic building on our Highway 114 frontage,” Terrell said.Charles Nasem, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said it’s a good fit for the city.“It feels like Southlake,” he said.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dussssstin