St. Francis announces major improvements, parking garage demolition

St. Francis Medical Center has announced some major improvements to its downtown Monroe campus. (Source: KNOE)

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - St. Francis Medical Center has announced some major improvements to its downtown Monroe campus. They say renovations include interior and exterior enhancements, new medical technology, and the demolition of the old parking garage.

In a news release sent to KNOE, St. Francis described the upgrades as a "$80 million, four-year capital campaign intended to revitalize the Monroe medical center and community." They say this four-year investment will be followed by a 10-15 year, $30-$50 million campaign "resulting in a beautiful, new campus for St. Francis Medical Center facing the I-20 corridor."

Among the improvements announced Monday are:

  • Renovating the hospital’s kitchen, cafeteria and dining area
  • Updating the hospital’s television system from analog to digital service
  • Replacing approximately 250 patient beds, with an average cost of $33,000 per ICU bed, $14,000 per labor and delivery bed, and $7,000 per medical/surgical bed
  • Relocating and adding state of the art technology to its 6-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), the only one available in Northeast Louisiana for children needing life-saving, critical care
  • Adding a new 10-bed adult ICU for patients needing a higher level of care
  • Updating two pharmacy cleanrooms which are sterile areas needed for both patient and team member safety
  • Adding technology to be the first hospital in Northeast Louisiana to provide these state of the art procedures:
    - EBUS (endobronchial ultrasound - minimally invasive method to diagnose and stage lung cancer)
    - Watchman Program (for patients with atrial fibrillation)
  • Adding a new heart catheterization lab which will open later this month. This lab will give St. Francis a total of six heart catheterization procedure rooms at the downtown campus.
  • Adding a hybrid surgical suite with state of the art equipment for various surgical applications which will open in September of this year
  • Beginning a three-year renovation project to update all patient rooms, including bathroom upgrades, replacing room furnishings with more comfortable options for family members and guests, and adding new patient communication boards

The news release goes on to say, "Exterior construction at the hospital will begin on August 14 as demolition begins on the skybridge structure and the old parking building. The garage structure, which is located across the street from the downtown hospital, will be removed using a safe, methodical process over the next 6-9 months. Valet parking services will be available during this construction phase for patient and visitor convenience."

They also say construction of a helipad will begin before the end of 2019.