Columbia St. Mary's Opens First Phase of Building Project

Monday, November 27, 2006


Columbia St. Mary’s Opens First Phase of Building Project - Prospect Medical Commons
One Stop Shopping for Healthcare on Milwaukee's East Side

November 20, 2006—Milwaukee. Columbia St. Mary's Hospital is bringing one stop shopping to its patients at Prospect Medical Commons. After the new five-story medical complex opens today, patients will be able to see their primary care and specialty physicians in the same building. And, when they are done with their appointments on the upper floors, they can be whisked down the elevator to the new Whole Foods Market, a leading national organic grocer.

“The physicians are coming together in one facility to provide increased efficiency and more services for their patients,” said Sue Sanicola, Vice President of Physician Services. “It allows us to consolidate and provide greater ancillary services such as medical imaging and laboratory than we would have been able to provide in separate medical office locations.”

The 80,000-square-foot Prospect Medical Commons will consolidate physicians from five different office locations on the east side. In addition to greater ancillary services, having primary care physicians in the same building as dermatology, cardiology and other specialists will provide easy access for physician consultations on the spot, said Clinic Administrator Colleen Sundquist.

Prospect Medical Commons also will include a four-story parking garage. Each floor will provide direct access to the building, eliminating the need for patients and families to rely on stairs or elevators to reach their destinations.

However, Sundquist says, the biggest advantage will be the technology: an all-digital radiology department and electronic health record.

“Technology allows physicians and staff to take care of patients more efficiently,” Sundquist said. “Using some of the best digital equipment for imaging allows us to take pictures and have them read within hours versus the next day or day after.”

Mammograms, ultrasounds, X-rays, CT scans and other tests will use the digital technology. The electronic health record will free space that medical records would have occupied.

“We’re moving towards a paperless environment,” Sanicola says.

Patients also will appreciate the downtown views from the building’s south side and Lake Michigan views from the east side.

“The views create a calming environment which takes some of the stress out of being in a physician’s office,” Sanicola said. “The views also provide some directional support. People know where they are in the building.”

Prospect Medical Commons is the first phase of Columbia St. Mary's plans to set a new national standard for patient care. When completed, the hospital’s east side campus will include an 835,000-square-foot hospital, a new 40,000-square-foot Cancer Center, two medical office buildings and new parking structures. It will serve as a national model for safe, efficient and patient-centered care.

Columbia St. Mary's is comprised of four hospitals: Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Columbia, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee, and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, as well as 28 primary care clinics, the Columbia College of Nursing, a partnership with the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, the new River Woods Outpatient Center in Glendale, and new Urgent Care Center in downtown Milwaukee. The system serves individuals and families in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties, with more than 158 years of service. In 2006 Columbia St. Mary’s was named a Solucient Top 100 Hospital. Columbia St. Mary's and its sponsor organizations, Ascension Health and Columbia Health System, share a mission to make a positive difference in the health status and lives of individuals in the community with a special concern for those who are vulnerable. 


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