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Good Shepherd plans $20 million expansion project next to Institute for Healthy Living

By Mike Elswick melswick@news-journal.com
May 10, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Good Shepherd Medical Center is looking northward again for its latest major expansion project - a $20 million, 74,000-square-foot facility to be built next to the GSMC Institute for Healthy Living.

Construction is expected to start by late summer or early fall on the facility that will house a new emergency center, comprehensive outpatient diagnostic testing center and physician medical offices. It will be built on a 13-acre tract the medical center acquired about a year ago directly west of the institute on Hawkins Parkway.

"With the growth of Longview to the north, we wanted to be able to offer patients convenient access to outpatient testing services as well as urgent and emergency care," said Ed Banos, Good Shepherd president and CEO. "And with our growing ER volumes, this new center will be able to meet the community's growing need for emergency and urgent care services."

The emergency center will be staffed by the same team of board certified emergency physicians as Good Shepherd's other four emergency departments in Longview, Marshall, Linden and Kilgore. In addition to the physicians, Banos said he expects to add about 100 new employees to the Longview medical services pool when construction is completed about a year after it starts.

"This is an opportunity to provide diagnostic services and help meet the increasing demand for emergency room and primary care services," he said.

Banos estimated construction costs would be from $12 million to $14 million, with the completely outfitted facility representing an investment of about $20 million.

The new emergency center will be comprised of 18 exam rooms, four fast-track exam rooms and one procedure room along with observation beds. As an emergency center, patients experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms can be treated and transferred, as needed, by ambulance to a local hospital of the patient's choosing.

"The vision of the project design was to utilize the environment as a healing tool, therefore the design includes an abundance of natural light and capitalizes on the existing outdoor amenities to enhance its placement on the property," said Anne Hugman with Hugman Architecture & Construction. "The goal was to also provide both visual and physical connections to the Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living for a campus-wide relationship of wellness and improved health."

The new facility will offer the same list of outpatient diagnostic testing services as the main campus, including MRI, CT, digital mammography, ultrasound and a full range of laboratory services, Banos said.

One advantage of the new location will be easily accessible parking.

"Parking is an issue of other hospital campuses in the city," Banos said. "This is going to be a good complement to the Institute for Healthy Living with wellness and preventative care - and now medical care."

Banos said patients could be dropped off under large, covered areas at each of the two front entries. The medical offices will overlook a lake and wooded area at the north end of the property, offering a tranquil experience inside and outside the facility.

Continuous sidewalks will connect each of the four main areas of the building, allowing users to walk through the facility from one area to another, he said.

Part of the project will include a new connecting driveway that will allow patients to move between the Institute for Healthy Living and the new medical office building.

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