(TB&P) –It’s been more than four years in the making, but Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers is set to unveil its new seven-story patient tower and health services expansion on Monday (Nov. 11). The 190,000-square-foot expansion cost $133 million. That’s roughly $15 million over budget and some 90 days behind schedule, due largely to some additional changes and additions to the original plan.
Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers, said the overall buildout went smoothly. While the top two floors are not built out and will be expanded later, the hospital’s neonatal unit has doubled in size to 19 beds with a 24/7 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for premature babies. There are 150 additional patient beds with the expansion, as well as more cardiac and general operating rooms.
The hospital will have a new entrance with a glass lantern look and prominent crosses that represent Mercy’s heritage, which dates back to 1827 and the Sisters of Mercy of Dublin, Ireland. Pianalto said the mission started by Mercy’s founders is still very much a part of operations.
Mercy Northwest Arkansas is an affiliate of St. Louis-based health system Mercy.
“As a Catholic healthcare facility, our mission is to treat and educate regardless of ability to pay,” Pianalto said.
The hospital group spent more than 18 months researching the demand needs and looking at the gaps in care throughout the region before it unveiled the $247 million expansion plan in April 2016. The investment was expanded to $277 million and included a multispecialty clinic in Springdale and four additional primary care clinics in Bentonville, Centerton and Pea Ridge. Pianalto said over the five-year plan, which runs through 2020, Mercy will add 1,000 jobs. To date, roughly 900 of those jobs have been filled. He said the balance will be added as the hospital ramps up over the next year or so as demand dictates. He said the massive expansion was planned to address demand out five more years.
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