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Sacred Heart Hospital Completes Expansion, Dedicates New Tower

Posted: 6/27/2014

Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola held a dedication ceremony Friday to mark the completion of the new Bayou Tower, the largest expansion of the hospital in almost 50 years.

The expansion adds five new floors of patient care units with 112 private rooms. The addition will allow Sacred Heart to expand services such as its Joint Replacement Center and meet the community's need for more beds for critically ill patients – a need driven in part by the hospital's status as a regional Trauma Center. The added units also will allow Sacred Heart to offer private rooms throughout its new tower and the main hospital.

“The new tower is more than additional beds for our hospital,” said Hospital President Henry Stovall. “It’s about redesigning the care we give and making it the best we can for our patients and their families.”

The $52-million expansion project began two years ago. The tower will officially open for patient care on July 19.

The guests at Friday’s dedication will include Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, who will give a formal blessing of the new units as a place of healing.

“This addition to Sacred Heart Hospital is a blessing for the people of Pensacola and the surrounding areas, which will only enhance the rich tradition of Sacred Heart Health System providing quality and compassionate care in our community,” Bishop Parkes said.

Floors 4 and 5 of Bayou Tower are intensive care units with a total of 40 ICU rooms for patients with life-threatening conditions. The updated floor plan includes spacious rooms with large interior windows and workstations between the rooms to allow physicians and staff to maintain visual contact with critically-ill patients.

“For Sacred Heart, this is a significant point in our long history of caring for people who need it the most,” Stovall said. “We are better equipped to care for many different kinds of patients with different needs.”

Floors 6 and 7 have 25 rooms on each floor for patients treated for cardiac conditions, including those recovering from heart surgery or cardiac procedures. Each room has a private bathroom, an exterior window, and additional space for family and visitors. The floor plan includes centrally-located nursing stations and large physician work areas.

The top floor is dedicated to Sacred Heart’s Joint Replacement Center with 22 beds and a large rehabilitation area with a great view. Moving from its current location just off the busy first-floor hallway in the main hospital, the new center will offer four more beds than the current facility provides, as well as greater patient privacy. A total of 800 square feet of the new Joint Replacement Center will be devoted to a rehabilitation suite. The area will include a therapy kitchen to help patients learn how to safely navigate a kitchen and cook while recovering from joint replacement. A therapy bathroom also will be included to teach patients how to safely utilize a bathroom during recovery.

Both public areas and private patient rooms will be decorated in neutral earth tones. All of the new private patient rooms will feature new furniture including recliners and side chairs, as well as large, flat-screen TVs. Stovall said the amount of new furniture, artwork computers, monitors, phones, artwork and other technology was so great that it filled nine tractor-trailer trucks that delivered materials to the new hospital floors.

 The rooms have several new features designed to ensure safety and promote a healing environment.

  • Each room will have an overhead lift system that can smoothly and safely lift patients out of their beds rather than having nurses lift patients. The lift systems are designed to prevent injuries to patients and staff.

  • Each room has an exterior window so that patients and families can look outside. Stovall said exterior windows can help patients’ mental status by keeping them oriented to a day-night cycle.

  • Each ICU room will have new equipment to monitor the patient’s vital signs and more closely connect patients to their nurses. When the monitors detect an abnormal change in vital signs, the monitors send an alarm to a specialized phone carried by the patient’s nurses.

“The new hospital tower is very exciting because it gives us the opportunity to recreate the patient experience,” said Susan Davis, president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System.  “We will be able to add the latest technology and digital medical records systems as well as more comfortable private rooms. Every aspect of this project is focused on enhancing the patient experience and improving the quality of care.”

About Sacred Heart Hospital

Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola (SHHP) is a 466-bed acute care hospital that has been rated by area consumers as the most preferred hospital in the Pensacola area and the best for quality and reputation.  For almost 100 years, its mission has been to provide high-quality compassionate healthcare to all persons in need, with special attention to those who are poor or vulnerable. SHHP serves as a regional medical center with expertise in providing specialized care for treatment of heart disease, cancer, stroke, bone and joint diseases, and traumatic illnesses and injuries, as well as care to women with high-risk pregnancies. More women choose to have their babies at Sacred Heart than any other hospital in Northwest Florida.  Sacred Heart’s Pensacola campus also is home to The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, the region’s only hospital dedicated to care of infants and children with acute injuries or illnesses.  The Pensacola facilities are the hub of Sacred Heart Health System and its network of hospitals, outpatient medical parks, long-term care facility and a large group of 150 primary care physicians and specialists. Sacred Heart Hospital was founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1915 in a beautiful building that still stands on 12th Avenue in Pensacola.  In 1965, the hospital was relocated to its present site on 9th Avenue. The hospital is part of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest system of Catholic non-profit hospitals. For more information, visit

Bayou Tower at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola

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