Lakeland showcases $20 million in renovations at open house

Published 6:35 am Monday, November 1, 2004

Niles Daily Star
NILES - It's not uncommon for most people to dread a hospital visit, and who can blame them?
Rooms which give patients the feeling of being in a prison rather than a care facility, and navigating hallways and floors to get outpatient services can be a hassle no one wants to deal with.
Well, visitors to Lakeland Hospital, Niles, need not fear such things anymore.
The hospital held an open house Friday to showcase renovations made during a $20 million, two year renovation and expansion project.
Improvements to the facility include a new entrance and renovated lobby at the St. Joseph River entrance, a new cardiac care wing, a renovated radiology center and renovations made to the inpatient rooms on the two inpatient care floors.
Many of the renovations allowed the hospital to consolidate most outpatient services to the first floor, whereas in the past, the services were scattered throughout the hospital.
The newly renovated inpatient rooms feature natural browns and tan colors, as opposed to the institutional white commonly found in hospital rooms.
The new rooms also feature artwork, which was selected by the nurses, and bathrooms which are larger and give a more "at home" feel.
Waiting rooms for patient family members have been added on the inpatient care floors, A-2 and A-3, which feature full service kitchens so families can prepare meals while staying close to loved ones.
A new entrance was added on the Grant Street side of the building, allowing patients to enter right where they'll undergo surgery.
A new waiting area was also added for family members of patients having surgery.
At a special presentation held during the open house, two long-time employees of Lakeland Hospital, Niles, thanked everyone for the support and patience.
While the renovations to the hospital were being made, workers unearthed a time capsule from 1966.
To commemorate the completion of the renovations, the hospital will bury another time capsule under the associate pathway in the hospital's healing garden sometime in November.
Sue Morris, a nursing assistant at the hospital for 30 years, revealed one of her contributions to the time capsule.
Dan, whose last name Morris didn't reveal, worked at the hospital for 25 years before falling ill with a brain tumor in 1995. Dan's last wish was to return to Lakeland Hospital, Niles, so that he could die in his home with his family, Morris said.