WILKES-BARRE — Hospital visits can be unpleasant, but one thing patients admitted into Wilkes-Barre General’s brand new intensive care unit will not have to worry about is privacy.
The $40 million addition is two stories and contains 34 beds and each room is meant for only one patient instead of two. The unit also features new equipment.
“I’m most excited about the fact that we have a state-of-the art facility that brings to this community a level of expertise and technology that the community here deserves,” said Cor Catena, hospital CEO.
He also said the new rooms are more spacious, airy, and have large windows to allow more natural light inside. “I think it will enhance the patient experience tremendously.”
The hospital hosted an open house and health fair Saturday to give tours of the ICU unit to the public and to offer information about the latest health procedures and technologies with free screenings and demonstrations.
One of the most hands-on stations at the fair gave visitors a chance to see how robotic surgery is done by sitting down and operating a robot.
“People love it,” said Dr. Clark Gerhart, medical director for robotic surgery. “It’s kind of a novelty.”
He teaches robotic surgery at the hospital and said that people from all over the country come to learn about it. “We’re actually one of the national leaders in general surgery here,” said Gerhart. “We’ve been doing robotics here since 2009.”
Another very popular station gave tips about healthy eating. Employees from the hospital’s nutrition and food department prepared a tasty but “heart healthy” kale salad featuring roasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, apples, craisins, and radicchio and offered samples and a corresponding recipe.
“We selected ingredients that really gave a punch of nutrition,” said Helen Pickering, a clinical nutrition manager. She also said the dish contains lots of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
The hospital is currently working on more renovations to update 200 semi-private rooms and make them more private. The project will continue for the next few years.
Wilkes-Barre General held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday with city and state officials to celebrate the expansion.
Social worker Jessica Rosencrans gets her caricature digitally drawn by artist Angie Jordan, owner of Live Digital Caricatures, during Wilkes-Barre General Hospital’s open house Saturday.
Sam Walker, clinical dietetic intern from Marywood University, mixes a salad to be given as samples to people to promote healthy eating habits during Wilkes-Barre General Hospital’s open house Saturday.