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Lee Health’s Gulf Coast Medical Center Opens new 52-bed ICU

GCMC - ICU Grand Opening.jpg
Courtesy of Lee Health
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Staff at Lee Health's Gulf Coast Medical Center celebrate the opening of the hospital's new 52-bed intensive care unit

Staff at Lee Health’s Gulf Coast Medical Center, on Wednesday, celebrated the opening of the hospital’s new 52-bed intensive care unit.

The new ICU is part of the hospital’s $347 million expansion.

Vice President of Operations and Chief Physician Executive at Gulf Coast Medical Center, Dr. Jonathan Velez, says the expansive unit encompasses two floors.

“So on the third floor it will be around neurology, stroke care, and a variety of other neurologic needs will be able to be met there. And then on the second floor, medical and surgical patients in general will be able to get their care there. So it’s really expanding our capabilities,” said Dr. Velez.

The new unit, which opened ahead of schedule, more than double’s the hospital’s intensive care patient capacity from 36 to 88 beds. Both floors of the unit include two negative air pressure rooms for treating patients with infectious diseases, a bariatric lift room and physical therapy substations.

Later this year, Lee Health plans to transfer its trauma center from Lee Memorial Hospital to Gulf Coast Medical Center in the health system’s effort to make Gulf Coast Lee County’s leading medical healthcare center.

The final phase of the Gulf Coast Medical Center expansion involves preparing the first floor of the hospital’s new north tower, just below the new ICU. Dr. Velez says the first floor will include a variety of patient services.

“We’ll have state of the art endoscopy labs. We’ll also have state of the art dialysis bays so we’ll be able to expand the amount of dialysis that we can do here for inpatients here at Gulf Coast Medical Center,” said Dr. Velez.

The first floor will also include a simulation lab, primarily for educational purposes. Dr. Velez said the simulation lab will also have, “the ability to create a room that is modeled after real patient rooms, whether it be in the ICU or in the Emergency Department or just a standard acute care bed, and then apply to that simulation technology so we can start training staff and providers to care for certain medical conditions in a simulated controlled environment as opposed to having that first time be with a real patient in a real environment.”

The final phase of the expansion project is slated to be complete in May.

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