Open house introduces Mercy Health changes
JANESVILLE New offices, new equipment, new rooms.
New building, new technology, new specialists.
On Saturday, Mercy Health System rolled out the changes that have been in the making for nearly five years.
An open house featured tours of the newest addition to the campus, the Sister Michael Berry building, renovations throughout the hospital and a look at the cutting edge technology now available.
“Today we’re reminiscing about the past and looking to the future,” Rollie McClellen, chairman of the Mercy Health System board told a group of Janesville leaders.
The past got its due, briefly, with the announcement that the building housing Mercy Assisted Care would be renamed the Henry Palmer building in honor of the hospital’s founder.
The past and the future came together in Sister Michael Berry Building. Berry was the administrator who oversaw the development of the “new hospital” and kept the organization up-to-date and energized throughout the 1960s and ’70s.
The building is now home to many of Mercy’s specialty operations including endoscopy, gastroenterology, neurosciences, men’s health, urology and hematology and medical oncology.
Javon Bea, president and CEO of Mercy, highlighted the developments that led to Mercy’s Hospital and Trauma Center being designated a “level II” trauma center.
“Mercy is the only level II trauma center south of La Crosse,” Bea said.
In southern Wisconsin, only University Hospital, Madison and Froedtert Hospital, Wauwatosa, have a higher trauma center rating.
Bea and other hospital officials stressed that the goal of the trauma center—and other specialties—was to offer more care options closer to home.
Tours highlighted the hospital’s multi-million dollar investment in technology, including a 64-slice CT scanner that takes 3D images of the heart, the da Vinci robotic surgical system that helps surgeons perform less-invasive surgery; x-ray equipment with floating table tops and digital results, and a one-stop heart lab.
Most double rooms are now single rooms, everything from elevators to patient rooms have been renovated, all medical records are now computerized and virtually all images from heart scans to X-rays can be transmitted digitally.
The changes have been in the works for up to six years, said Mercy Vice President Rich Gruber.
Some of the changes are a normal part of being a health care provider in a world where the technology is changing almost continuously.
Most people—both patients and their visitors—don’t want to spend time in a hospital.
“We wanted to create an environment that was soothing and pleasant—that impacts attitude and emotions; it promotes healing,” Gruber said.
The changes at Mercy’s cancer center are a good example. Patients undergoing transfusions or chemotherapy sit in a spacious room with wrap-around windows with views of the river. Each reclining chair has its own television and headsets.
The light is bright but not jarring, giving the room a tranquil feeling.
It’s a significant change from the old chemo room in the basement.
The patients appreciate the change, said Karol Huernerberg, oncology nurse.
“The view, the open space, the patients love it,” Huernerberg said.