Hospital with a heart will grow -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hospital with a heart will grow

August 2, 2005

Albany-- Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is planning a nearly $200 million expansion that will include another medical tower and eventually 100 more patient beds.

By this time next year, the view at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Monroe Street may look a lot different. Phoebe's Medical Tower houses doctors offices, and the plan is to build another one just like it in the parking lot, at a cost of about $30 million.

The need for another medical tower, according to CEO Joel Wernick, is because of the increasing number of cancer patients the hospital is treating every year.

"Our cancer program here have been growing at an average rate of 15%," Wernick said. "So we're constantly moving it around and expanding it. It often times is not the most comfortable environment for our patients."

Because of that problem, the plan is to use two floors of the new tower for cancer outpatient services. The most expensive part of the expansion to the front of the hospital. It will be a patient tower that includes 100 more beds. That will cost anywhere from $100 million to $150 million and will include more private rooms.

They're planning to submit a certificate of need in October or November. That process can take anywhere from three to six months. They believe the need is there and hope to begin construction on the tower by late winter or early spring.

Phoebe is also planning eventually to add to one of its current parking decks, and build a new facility to replace its current Ashburn facility that will cost about one and a half million dollars.