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Press Release

Expanded intensive care and progressive care units open at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas

January 27, 2011

  REGIONS: Northwest 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – A larger intensive care and progressive care unit were the first patient care departments to move into Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center’s new 200,000-square-foot patient care wing on Aug. 1.

Responding to projections for increasing population all around it, the Kaiser Permanente-owned hospital broke ground two years ago on the massive new A Wing. It represents the largest expansion since the hospital opened in 1975.

The A Wing’s third floor is now home to a much larger Intensive Care Unit. The new ICU grew from 13 beds to 20. Each is in a much more spacious private room built to accommodate bedside computers and the latest electronic monitors and medical equipment, as well as allow families to be with an ill loved one.

All the rooms can be quickly switched to have negative air pressure, so that air can only flow into the room and be vented out a special exhaust. This prevents germs that can spread through the air, such as tuberculosis, from flowing out into hallways.

Staffing in the new unit increased from 49 registered nurses to approximately 60, according to Susan Brooker, director of critical care/emergency for Kaiser Sunnyside.

Sharing the same floor with the 19,000-square foot ICU is the hospital’s new Progressive Care Unit. Equal in size to the ICU, the Progressive Care Unit’s patients now enjoy all-private rooms with walk-in showers instead of the shared rooms of the past. The rooms also feature sturdy, ceiling-mounted lifts that help staff safely move heavy or immobile patients as needed. This is especially important in the Progressive Care Unit, where most of the hospital’s severely obese patients are treated after bariatric surgery.

The next move into the new wing is scheduled for Sept. 4, when the hospital’s new family birth center opens on the lower level. The new unit has 14 large labor and delivery rooms ranging from 330 to 360 square feet. There are three operating rooms and, just steps away, a special care nursery for infants who need extra care after birth. Babies as young as 8 months gestation can be cared for in the new nursery, which features eight private rooms where ill newborns can be with their parents with more quiet and less disturbance.

Three other floors of the new wing will provide space for future patient care needs. Total cost of the new wing is nearly $90 million, part of a $265 million expansion project on the Kaiser Sunnyside campus. Included in that are a 150,000-square-foot outpatient specialty medical office and surgery center that opened in May 2007, and renovations and expansions to numerous hospital departments, including a doubling of Kaiser Sunnyside’s emergency department from 19 to 40 treatment bays.

Zimmer-Gunsul-Frasca Partnership is the architecture firm that designed the new A Wing. Skanska USA is the project’s general contractor.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America’s leading integrated health care organization. Founded in 1945, the organization serves the health needs of more than 8.7 million people nationwide. More than 485,000 people in Oregon and Southwest Washington receive their health care from Kaiser Permanente. For more information, visit the Kaiser Permanente News Center,