Swedish Medical Center to Spend $50 Million on Neuroscience Hospital Expansion

Swedish Medical Center, the region’s leading stroke and neuroscience center, is pleased to announce it is moving forward on a $50 million expansion. In an effort to further align its neuroscience services; this is the second largest expansion in recent Swedish history.

Highlights include:
• Adding needed critical care beds and medical surgical beds, both of which maintain high occupancy levels today.
• Adding 65,000 square feet to the campus and renovating 28,000 square feet.
• Creating 39 incremental beds that will be dedicated to our neuroscience program.
• Constructing two additional floors to our south tower resulting in new neuroscience, medical and surgical beds.
• Constructing a new neurocritical care unit to address more significant patient needs and volume.
• Redesigning a new lobby and entrance to the neuroscience portion of the hospital, creating a workspace for our neuroscience program to collaborate more efficiently.
• Purchasing an additional outpatient 3T MRI for advanced neurological imaging.

“We are extremely excited for this investment by HealthONE in our neuroscience program,” said Mary White, President and CEO Swedish Medical Center. “We truly are the region’s number one neuroscience and spine program, and this expansion ensures we continue down that path. We plan to continue having our community say, Take me to Swedish!”

Swedish Medical Center has long been the region’s leader in neurosciences, as evidenced by these accomplishments and designations:
• The first hospital in the Rocky Mountain region to receive a Primary Stroke Center designation from the Joint Commission in 2004.
• In 2013 Swedish became the first hospital in the region to earn the Comprehensive Stroke Center designation from the Joint Commission.
• Also in 2013, Swedish received the “Get with the Guidelines” GOLD Stroke designation from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
• Swedish has the fastest growing Deep Brain Stimulation program in the region.
• Finally, Swedish Medical Center treats MORE strokes, FASTER:
• Door to Neurology Evaluation: 7.5 minutes compared to the national goal of 20 minutes
• Door to CT First Slice: 17 minutes compared to the national goal of 25 minutes
• Door to IV t-PA started: 40.8 minutes compared to the national average of 60 minutes or less
• 26% of patients taken to Swedish receive IV t-PA compared to the national average of 5%
Because of his dedication to stroke care, program quality and growth at Swedish and throughout the region, Chris Fanale, M.D. has been named the chair of the neuro hospital planning committee.

“This expansion will add much needed beds, infrastructure and technology to our campus,” said Fanale. “We are ensuring a foundation for the many years of growth ahead.”

Additionally what sets Swedish Medical Center apart from other neuroscience programs in the region is their highly recognized Acute Inpatient Rehab Facility, relationship with HealthONE’s Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, and the shared campus and collaboration with two renowned neuroscience institutions including Craig Hospital and the Colorado Neurological Institute.

Swedish Medical Center’s Acute Inpatient Rehab Facility is ranked among the top facilities in the country. It was recently named “Top Performer” by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation. Swedish Acute Rehab is an important part of the pathway to recovery, celebrating milestones and regaining independence for neurological patients.

Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital was the first licensed Acute Rehab Hospital in the state and is a part of the HealthONE family of hospitals. With over 45 years of experience, Spalding offers clinical expertise in treating traumatic brain injury patients.

Swedish Medical Center is fortunate to have the campus of Craig Hospital adjacent to its own. Craig has been a world-renowned specialty neurorehabilitation hospital for patients with spinal cord injury and brain injury since 1956.

Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) is a 25-year-old not-for-profit that currently facilitates 50 clinical trials, provides care coordination to outpatients with neurological conditions, and operates an outpatient rehab program.

Construction will begin in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is expected to take place over approximately three years.

When a Headache is more than a Headache

If you have ever suffered from the symptoms of a migraine headache, you may be well aware of their ability to completely disrupt your daily activities. Fortunately, these headaches occur only temporarily and can be reversed with adequate rest and treatment.

However, there are times when a headache is more than just an inconvenience. You may experience pain that can be described as the “worst headache of your life” and that is accompanied by other physical and sensory problems, such as weakness on one side of the body and vision changes. If this occurs, your head pain is not just a headache—it is one of the common symptoms of stroke and requires emergency medical treatment.

A stroke, or brain attack, occurs when a region of the brain is deprived of oxygenated blood due to the obstruction or hemorrhage of a cranial artery. When unable to receive the oxygen and nutrients in blood, brain tissue quickly begins to die. Without immediate treatment, this dangerous medical event can lead to permanent disability and even death. You can help yourself and your loved ones avoid the dangers of stroke by learning the stroke symptoms and seeking treatment quickly if symptoms arise. The signs occur very suddenly and often include:

  • Severe headache with no known cause.
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the face and body.
  • Trouble speaking or understanding language.
  • Blurry vision in one or both eyes.
  • Loss of balance and coordination.

“Headaches described as the worst in a person’s life or head pain with sudden onset weakness or numbness can signal that a bleeding stroke it happening. It’s best to call 911 and get to a stroke center right away. A CT Scan is the best way for healthcare providers to determine if a bleeding stroke has occurred. Migraine headaches can mimic stroke also by causing stroke-like symptoms. Whenever a person experiences sudden onset stroke symptoms, with or without a headache, get to the hospital right away and let our experienced team get to the bottom of what is happening,” says Michelle Whaley, CNS, Swedish Stroke Coordinator.

According to the National Stroke Association, these events are the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of long-term adult disability in the United States. Do not become a part of these statistics—speak with your doctor about your potential risk factors and take the necessary steps to improve your health today. If you are in need of a primary care physician or medical specialist in the Denver area, contact Swedish Medical Center at (303) 788-5000. Our medical facility offers comprehensive healthcare services to promote the continued health of our community.