By RANDALL P. LIEBERMAN
Palms West Monthly
Posted May 2, 2012
LOXAHATCHEE — New Palms West Hospital CEO Eric Goldman had only been on the job about a month when on April 17 he had the honor of presiding over a Fourth Floor Construction Commencement – the “Raise the Roof Celebration” – for the hospital’s new $16 million expansion project.
“Our last major expansion was in 2005,” said Goldman, who came to Palms West from another HCA Healthcare hospital, Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, where he was COO. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be coming here at such an exciting time in the hospital’s history. This is a testament to the outstanding work that goes on here every day by our staff and our physicians.”
About 100 people came out for the kickoff for the hospital’s expansion project. The event took place in front of the Emergency Room on Palms West’s Loxahatchee campus.
Construction actually began on the project at the end of February and is expected to last 13 months and be completed by March 2013. Attendees signed a piece of corrugated steel that will ultimately become part of the building and foam girders were handed out as mementos.
The construction firm handling the project is Charles Perry Partners, Inc.
The highlight of the construction project is the vertical addition of a fourth floor to the hospital’s East Tower, which will create a new 32-bed medical/surgical floor. The existing medical/surgical unit will relocate to this new floor, allowing for an expansion of the current pediatric unit by 14 beds (to 38) and two intensive-care beds (to 10).
The hospital’s adult intensive-care unit will also gain four beds (to 18).
In addition, the laboratory on the first floor will be renovated and expanded.
According to Goldman, the expansion will bring the total number of beds in the hospital from 175 to 204 and the total square footage from 225,000 square feet to 254,000 square feet.
“With a little bit of shifting and a little bit of addition, we‘ll be able to meet the needs of the community better,” Goldman said.
Also speaking at the event was Dr. Carmine Priore, the board chairman of Palms West Hospital, who has been on the hospital’s board for 12 years and has been around the hospital since it opened in 1986.
“I’ve been around since the Western communities had a population of about 9,000 people,” Priore said. “Now it is much higher than that. This expansion will allow us to have better care and better service and have the opportunity to treat more patients. I’m proud of how this hospital has grown with the community.”
Dignitaries present at the event included councilmen from Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee Groves and Wellington. Also on hand was Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief Nigel Baker, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Captain Albert Barrato, Palms West Hospital board members and the hospital’s Chief of Staff Dr. Ramprasad Gopalan.
The expansion was originally announced by the hospital in November 2010.
According to Palms West Hospital COO Madeline Nava, East Florida Division president of HCA Healthcare Michael Joseph was instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.
“We needed additional bed capacity,” Nava said. “It’s good that we’ll be gaining beds in both the adult and pediatric units. HCA has been very supportive of this project. We presented them the need we had and they came through with the needed funds.”