Thursday, Dec. 14

ALMH plans new hospital          Send a link to a friend

[DEC. 14, 2006]  Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is moving forward with plans to design and build a new hospital in Lincoln.

Initial plans call for the new hospital to open sometime in the year 2010 on a site near the west side of Lincoln.

The new facility will be designed primarily to serve the dramatic growth in outpatient services while also providing inpatient care. The new hospital will be able to accommodate new technology and provide added space for such vital services as emergency care, surgery and diagnostic testing services. Patient privacy, comfort, convenience and safety will be priorities as design plans unfold.

"Our current building allows our staff to provide great patient care, but we realize that it was built 53 years ago to care for an average of more than 140 inpatients daily," said Dolan Dalpoas, the hospital's president and chief executive officer. "Since the 1950s, advances in medicine and medical technology have dramatically decreased the length of stay for many patients. Today, we care for an average of 13 inpatients each night.

"Meanwhile, new technology is enabling many new diagnostic, surgical and treatment procedures to be done safely and effectively at ALMH," Dalpoas added. "Not surprisingly, this is reflected in the dramatic growth of outpatient visits to our hospital. Since 1997, the number of outpatient visits at our hospital has grown by nearly 25 percent, from 41,251 in 1997 to nearly 51,500 in 2006. A new hospital designed as an outpatient-based facility will be better able to meet the needs of the patients who will come to us for this level of care as the aging, baby boomer population continues to grow."

"The medical staff is excited about this development," said Dr. John Wahab, president of the ALMH medical staff. "We fully support a new hospital and believe our patients will greatly benefit from the enhanced services available at a new facility."

The decision to build a replacement hospital evolved out of ALMH 2010 -- a 36-month research project to identify the best opportunities for ensuring community access to excellent care in Logan and eastern Mason counties.

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Four options were explored: maintaining the existing hospital with no renovation; undergo a minimal renovation of the current hospital; pursue a major first-floor expansion and total renovation of the current hospital; or construct a replacement hospital. ALMH engaged nearly 1,000 community members in surveys, focus group discussions and individual interviews to gather input and direction for the ALMH 2010 options.

This fall, the hospital's board of directors approved planning for the project.

"Our mission is to help maintain, restore and improve the health of the people and communities we serve," said Patti Becker, board chair. "Our hospital facility is now more than 50 years old. For obvious reasons, it is not designed to meet the changing needs of today's patients many of whom need outpatient care that is easily accessible and convenient."

"A new hospital designed to meet these needs and continue to provide inpatient services will enable our hospital to better fulfill our mission and position it to enjoy 53 more years of success. I am proud that the hospital board has chosen to move forward with such an exciting project to preserve the legacy of ALMH."

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital opened on April 2, 1954. Its predecessor, Deaconess Hospital, was opened on Jan. 19, 1902.

ALMH is a community-based hospital that serves the people and communities of Logan and eastern Mason counties. Clinical services include 24-hour emergency medicine, general acute inpatient care, intensive care, pain management, orthopedics, surgery and the Family Maternity Suites. ALMH also offers a full range of outpatient rehabilitation therapy and diagnostic testing.

For project updates, visit

[ALMH news release]


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