With an eye on a February 2020 opening for the new Lincoln City Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital (SNLH), hospital executives have been touring the community around the facility to show off their innovative, state-of-the-art building.

On Nov. 13, Chief Executive Officer at SNLH, Lesley Ogden, MD, MBA, FACEP, took the Lincoln City Rotary Club around the building, while explaining what makes this new hospital unique.

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Chief Executive Officer at SNLH, Lesley Ogden speaks about the new building.

The original hospital, which is thought to be the last remaining wooden hospital in the United States, was built on the shores of Devils Lake in 1967-68. The new building was constructed, quite literally, right next to and somewhat on top of the old building.

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The overhanging roof, sits above the old building with just a four foot gap between structures.

One of the main innovative pieces of this new building is the flexible use of space for its rooms and lobby area.

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The lobby area will feature a see-through fireplace, which will separate general patient check-in and emergency room check-in.

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Many of the rooms at the new hospital will have several different uses. Related departments will be located near each other, for greatly improved work efficiencies for staff.

The hospital will have 16 private and spacious patient rooms: 10 inpatient rooms for medical, surgical and critical care; two inpatient labor and delivery rooms; and four patient observation rooms in the inpatient wing.

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Many of the rooms will feature a view of Devils Lake.

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The new hospital will feature the latest medical and technological equipment. Additionally, the facility is being built to the highest safety and seismic standards.

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The hospital is set to open February 4, 2020. To learn more about the project, read the earlier News Guard report below.

Earlier Coverage:

It’s been a long process filled with surprises both pleasant and unpleasant, but the new Samaritan Hospital being built on Devils Lake is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In early February 2020, the new Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital will open in Lincoln City, just steps away from the original hospital, which was built on the shores of Devils Lake in 1967-68.

From the beginning stages of planning, architects worked closely with hospital staff to ensure that the completed design of the 52,000-square-foot building would promote optimal care for patients. Chief Executive Officer at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital Lesley Ogden, MD, MBA, FACEP said the architects, builders and hospital staff has had the opportunity to take and innovative approach to the new building.

“I think the biggest part is going from plans to actually building, because then it becomes very real,” Ogden said. “Some of our ideas were really innovative, from our use of space, flexibility and scalability. We don’t have areas that sit empty and aren’t being used. It was a partnership that came about between the architects, builders and leadership in wanting to be something different.”

Flexible use of space will provide more convenient services for patients according to Ogden. Related departments will be located near each other, for greatly improved work efficiencies for staff and the latest medical and technological equipment will be available. Additionally, the facility is being built to the highest safety and seismic standards.

Altogether, this will allow for quick and competent care with patient comfort and safety at the forefront. Another key in the design was adding convenience and easy navigation to their patients, which Ogden feels is an issue in most hospitals.

“The typical experience is you walk in, try to orient yourself by finding a sign that points you in the right direction and you might wander through hallways and floors until you find where you’re supposed to be,” Ogden said. “In our new hospital we’ll have just two entrances, the main entrance and the emergency entrance. We’ll also have architecturally incorporated signage because it’s not an afterthought in this project; it’s been part of the design. Way finding is so hard in most hospitals.”

The hospital will have 16 private and spacious patient rooms: 10 inpatient rooms for medical, surgical and critical care; two inpatient labor and delivery rooms; and four patient observation rooms in the inpatient wing. The Emergency Department will have five exam rooms and two trauma exam rooms. Two of these new exam rooms can be used as safe rooms, specially designed for comfort, decreased stimulation and safety for mental health patients.

With a patient-centered design and processes, outpatient services will come to the patient in an outpatient flex room, rather than having the patient move throughout the hospital to receive various services.

“One of the very different things about this new hospital is that you can check in for your lab service and go just a few feet to your room,” Ogden said. “You don’t have to go find the lab, the lab will find you. That is a patient experience that I want our community to have.”

Facing Challenges

As is the case with most large-scale construction projects, SNLH hit a few snags throughout the past year that set them back just a touch. When SNLH began construction in July 2018, the cost was expected to be in the $35 million range. However, they eventually discovered it was going to cost much more.

“We were not prepared for labor shortages, as well as the cost of construction,” Ogden said. “When we actually started working on it and saw how much more expensive it was going to be it came to be a $42 million project. It was a surprise.”

The $42 million hospital project is being entirely funded by the nonprofit Samaritan Health Services. Although they were about $7 million off the projected budget, Samaritan looked at the project as a priority and began a $7.5 million capital campaign to provide the additional funds needed for things like furnishings, fixtures and equipment. Cathy Sandoval, executive director of the North Lincoln Hospital Foundation, said that the capital campaign is still in full force and donations are still very much gratefully appreciated.

Once the new facility is in service, the existing all-wood hospital will be demolished to allow a centralized, environmentally-conscious parking area to be completed before mid-summer 2020. Meanwhile, a 19,587-square-foot building located on the hospital campus is being remodeled for a variety of administrative and business offices. Also, it will be the new home of Samaritan Physical Rehabilitation-Lincoln City, which offers physical, occupational and speech therapy.

The design firm HGA partnered with Skanska USA Building as the design-build team for this hospital project.

Although there is still much work to be done before the new hospital opens its doors in February, Ogden and the rest of SNLH can see that all the hard work is going to pay off in the end by being able to provide a state of the art facility and services to the rural Lincoln City community.

“Having a hospital like this that inspires confidence and trust in patients and they can see all the services and understand they don’t have to travel for it, it sets up our community for positive growth,” Ogden said. “It’s about taking care of patients in our community.”

For more information visit samhealth.org/NewHospitalLincolnCity.

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