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At Elmhurst Memorial Hospital (EMH), everything old is new again—and that means a hospital with the old-fashioned kind of one-on-one, hands-on care, coupled with the newest in facilities and equipment. In fact, by the time the new EMH facility opens in 2011, pretty much the only thing that will remain the same will be the name. The result will be a patient experience that is not only individual-centered, but individual-empowering, allowing patients to actively participate in their own healthcare.

The new $450 million, 50-acre integrated hospital campus (see artist rendering above) broke ground in May of 2008 at the corner of York and Roosevelt Roads, with the new acute-care center as the complex centerpiece. When completed, the hospital will be able to more easily focus on treating all aspects of a patient’s illness and recuperation. The building will be welcoming, offering 259 private rooms decorated in a homey style to set patients at ease. For efficiency and familiarity, every room will maintain the same physical layout.

Understanding that the support of family and friends is critical to patient recuperation, the new hospital will also offer guest facilities for visiting family members, and all rooms will provide such options as room service, adding up to a comfortable, hotel-like atmosphere. To round out the non-hospital feel, a retail center will be attached to the complex, including a Starbucks, a Walgreens and even a boutique where visitors may relax and shop, all in a soothing park-like setting.

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EMH President and CEO Leo Fronza (pictured on page 43) praises this approach, saying, “We have been given an incredible opportunity to tailor the design of our new hospital to create a unique healing environment. We recognize that the physical environment is vital to the healing process so we have focused on including design features that will forever change people’s perceptions of what a hospital should be.”

“It will be less clinical,” says Public Relations Coordinator Kyle Bauer. “Patients will get more of a calming feel from soothing colors and natural light. There will be an accessible healing garden, maybe with rooms overlooking it.”

But a kinder and gentler patient approach doesn’t mean the hospital will lack for the newest and best technology. The complex will focus on the newest and the best: the emergency department will be state-of-the-art, and surgical suites will boast the latest high-end equipment. Also planned are two office buildings and a Heart Hospital, as well as a Women’s Pavilion and Cancer Center and specialized outpatient centers, all with top-of-the-line technology.

Fronza applauds this approach as a natural extension of the Elmhurst mission, saying, “The idea of creating an environment that focuses on the patients’ experience fits perfectly with our vision of healthcare, which places our patients at the center of all we do. As our staff embraces this philosophy, you can see a culture change starting to occur.”

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The time is right for Elmhurst Memorial Hospital to grow. John Quigley, President and CEO of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry, sees the new hospital as an expansion rather than a replacement, saying, “Elmhurst was blessed to be home to the first hospital in DuPage County more than 80 years ago and the rebirth of Elmhurst Memorial will bless this city for decades to come.”

Welcome to the perfect blend of old and new. Welcome to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

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