Texas Health Huguley Hospital adding $95 million patient tower

05/22/2014 6:16 PM

05/22/2014 6:17 PM

Texas Health Huguley Hospital in far south Fort Worth will build a new six-story facility just west of its existing hospital building, with plans to open the expansion in the summer of 2016.

The $95 million project will cover 228,300 square feet and include new patient rooms about twice the size of the rooms in the current hospital, which will remain part of a medical campus on the east side of Interstate 35W. The existing hospital building will house an intensive care unit, cardiovascular critical care, emergency department and other services.

The buildings will be connected on the first floor. The hospital entrance, now on the west, will be moved to the north side during construction.

It’s the latest of several new hospital facilities announced in the Tarrant area in recent months.

In February, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center said it was adding a $118 million patient tower expected to open in late 2015. Texas Health Harris Methodist Southwest Fort Worth in February completed a $44 million expansion of its surgical facilities, and on Wednesday that hospital said it opened a $12 million medical office building.

Earlier this month, Baylor Emergency Medical Center at Burleson opened a 24-hour emergency room. Baylor All Saints Medical Center late last year started work on a new $35 million surgical center.

In addition, several new hospitals aimed at behavioral care have opened in the past year. That trend is spurred by increased access to mental health treatment under the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.

Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South, the full name of the facility, is a joint venture created in 2012 by Texas Health Resources and Adventist Health System, the original parent organization. The hospital is being integrated with THR’s operations.

Ken Finch, the hospital’s CEO, said the new building was planned even before that merger. The number of licensed beds will go up by only one, to 224, but Finch said it’s the upgrade in the size and amenities of the patient rooms that’s important.

When the original Huguley facility opened in 1977, he said, the trend was for private rooms. But they were small, just 147 square feet.

He said the new patient rooms are 300 square feet each, which allows for more of the equipment used in care today and also makes room for family members. The new hospital will also include more wireless communications for both patients and hospital operations.

Finch said the new tower’s top floor will be left unfinished inside, but he expects that space to be completed within about five years to accommodate growth.

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