Trinity’s Expansion Means Positive Changes

Photo Provided Trinity Medical Center West is the midst of an expansion project that transform the look of the facility.

STEUBENVILLE — You’d think a mega-merger involving your parent company or opening a super clinic in a rural community would be the highlight of your business year but not at Trinity Health System, where the big news is a $75 million building project that promises to change delivery of health care in the region.

While he says all three are milestones, Trinity CEO Matt Grimshaw said the 183,400 square foot addition is going to be a game changer: It involves construction of a new, five-story addition wrapped around Trinity West’s existing main entrance, with a new lobby, 80-plus all-new private rooms with hotel amenities including private baths and new public spaces, including a Food Court and atrium.

The new patient rooms will be universal, so the level of care can be adjusted, and will be “same-handed,” meaning items will be in the same place in each room. Rooms will be bigger, with private baths and more natural light. Beds will face windows, not walls.

“We’re going to be the first to launch this design, not just in the Ohio Valley but within a several hundred mile radius,” Grimshaw said. “It positions us for a flexible care model where we adapt to the care needs of the patient without making them change rooms. Outside of the intensive care unit, the rest of our patient care will be flexible.”

He sees it as a “one-time opportunity” to redefine how health care is delivered, calling it a “very intentional outcome of building for the future.”

“We’re committed to this community and positioning Trinity as a long-term health care resource for the region,” Grimshaw added. “We’re repositioning Trinity for long-term success with a facility-wide transformation.”

Construction crews have been focused on preliminary work over the past six months, redesigning parking areas and creating a new access to the Trinity West campus. Grimshaw said they’ve encountered their share of hiccups, with everything from unpredictable winter weather to control panels and water lines that weren’t expeced in a part of the Trinity West building targeted for demolition.

But demolition of the old main entrance is just days away now, with groundbreaking for the new tower set for sometime in March. Grimshaw says they’re headed to a spring 2021 completion date for the building project.

“From a financial standpoint I’m guessing it’s the biggest construction project in Steubenville in generations,” he said. “But from a care standpoint, it’s changing health care: Why is it the norm in health care to have semi-private rooms with shared bathroom facilities? This will take us to an all-private model, it positions us for a flexible care model that can adapt to the care needs of the patient without making them move from room to room.”

That’s also the rationale behind Trinity’s decision to invest in cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography scanners, both of which are now easily accessible to the hospital’s new, cutting-edge hybrid operating room.

The new MRI has a wide bore opening to make patients feel less confined. It’s faster, and most scans can be done with the patient’s head completely out of the system, they said.

The new CT scanner offers patients a fast, high-quality, low-dose diagnostic exam. Low-dose scanning, which also provides high image quality, is important because it can help manage a patients’ lifetime exposure to radiation dose while giving physicians the images needed to help plan treatment and care strategies.

“It allows us to do procedures in the operating room that historically were done in a different area,” Grimshaw said. “Our medical staff has access to high-end resonance imaging now if it’s needed — that used to do be done in separate spaces, and if something went wrong the operating room was a long way away. Now when they do interventional procedures they have access to the surgical staff without the patient being moved.”

And it has a lot to do with the merger of Catholic Health Initiatives, Trinity’s parent company, and Dignity Health. The new, not-for-profit company, operating as CommonSpirit Health, has 150,000 employees in 21 states.

Principals have described CommonSpirit as “a national ministry that will serve the common good,” keying on under-served communities and “addressing the underlying causes of poor health such as homelessness, addiction, and violence, and advocating for policies that improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

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