University of Maryland Medical Center Opens New Emergency Facility for Adults and Children in Magnificent New Weinberg Building
The University of Maryland Medical Center's new, state-of-the-art Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments will begin seeing patients on November 17, marking the opening of the Medical Center's new, 380,000 square foot Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building. The spacious and beautifully decorated emergency facilities feature 54 private exam rooms, the latest digital diagnostic equipment and large, comfortable waiting areas.
The entrance to the new, 45,000 square foot emergency facility, in the 600 block of West Lombard Street, is adjacent to the world-famous R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. It means that now, all of the University of Maryland Medical Center's emergency services will be located together for the first time. The Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments will continue to have their own waiting, reception and treatment areas, in order to focus on the specific needs of adult and pediatric patients.
"The Emergency Department is the front door to the medical center for many of our patients. In fact, half of our 30,000 patient admissions each year come through those areas," says Stephen C. Schimpff, M.D., CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
"We have always provided excellent, comprehensive emergency care for more than 60,000 adults and children each year, and we now have very attractive, welcoming and comfortable facilities to complement that high quality care," adds Dr. Schimpff.
The facility has 25 percent more beds than before and new, advanced, digital radiological equipment, such as CT scans, ultrasound and X-ray. It will be staffed and equipped to handle all types of medical emergencies. Patients with life-threatening conditions such as heart attack or stroke will have access to physicians and nurses trained specifically to treat those emergencies. In addition, the Adult Emergency Department will continue to offer a fast track area so that patients with less critical emergencies can be seen in a timely way.
As a leader in emergency response to local and regional disasters, the University of Maryland Medical Center has also installed specialized decontamination showers and isolation rooms in its new emergency facility to enhance its readiness to respond to mass casualties.
In addition to providing care for the complete spectrum of emergencies in children
and adults, the new facility also includes a dedicated psychiatric urgent care
"We designed the new space with a very organized, efficient layout," says Brian Browne M.D., head of Emergency Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Browne has worked in the hospital's Adult Emergency Department for 18 years, and is looking forward to moving into the new facility.
"The new space gives us a lot of flexibility, so that our staff can take the best possible care of patients. At the same time, we built in features to give our patients enhanced privacy and comfort. People want and need emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and this new ER will enable us to exceed the expectations of our patients," says Dr. Browne.
"The Pediatric Emergency Department will continue to be child and parent friendly. It is designed to focus on the individual needs of our patients, who range in age from newborns to teenagers," says Richard Lichenstein, M.D., director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center and associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
"We will be equipped with new, state-of-the-art monitoring, radiology and laboratory equipment and services. Many of the rooms are glass enclosed with curtains so that patients will have more privacy and a quieter environment," says Dr. Lichenstein. The Pediatric Emergency Department also has a children's playroom and is staffed by child life specialists.
"The location of our new Emergency Department is now very visible and accessible, making it easier for our young patients, their families and emergency providers to use our services," Dr. Lichenstein adds.
Dr. Robert Riley, the medical director of the Psychiatric Urgent Care program, says the expanded space for his program in the new building will give patients more privacy and more rapid assessments. "Our patients have a variety of mental health needs, ranging from mood disorders to substance abuse problems, and the new location will enable us to better coordinate patient care with our full range of emergency services and with resources throughout the city," adds Dr. Riley.
The University of Maryland Medical Center's emergency services are a statewide resource, providing access to every medical and surgical specialty and treating patients transported from throughout Maryland as well as from the surrounding Baltimore community.
The new facility will also attract and retain the best physicians and other staff, and house one of the largest emergency medicine residency training programs in the country.
It is the only program that offers three tracks: one devoted to the broad specialty of emergency medicine and two combined programs-emergency medicine/internal medicine and emergency medicine/pediatrics.The new emergency facility will be the first section to open in the spacious, nine-story, $150 million Weinberg Building. Other sections will open in coming months. They include 18 state-of-the-art operating rooms and two additional procedure rooms, designed with the latest digital technology and advanced air filtration systems.
The Weinberg Building also will include new facilities for cancer patients, plus an expanded diagnostic imaging department, a new food court, a chapel, a patient resource center to access health information and community resources, and an employee learning center.The Weinberg Building is part of the University of Maryland Medical Center's $218-million, Phase-Three expansion and renovation project. Funding comes from a combination of public and private sources, including the State of Maryland, Medical Center operating revenues, the sale of bonds and philanthropic gifts. The lead gift was from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, for whom the building is named.
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