Yes! On December 20th, a large crowd of the NMC family gathered to ceremonially “unwrap” our new main entrance and the adjoining space which includes an expanded external porte cochere, the new main lobby, the new greeting desk, new waiting areas, a new Gift Shop, a new security office, and more! As this is just the first of a number of new spaces which will be opening over the next year as we complete the major construction projects of our master facility plan, we kept this “unwrapping” an internal event. Rest assured, we will do a public grand opening later in 2017 to celebrate all of our new spaces as the projects come to completion. As construction elsewhere on campus continues, the new entrance is open. You can even see the new areas through a video tour filmed by our friends at Northwest Access Television! Visit the construction update section of NMC’s website for a link to the video out on YouTube: https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/about-nmc/who-we-are/construction-updates/
The response to the new front entrance has been so encouraging. People appreciate the increased shelter from the weather that the new porte cochere at the front entrance provides. The new lobby was designed to be welcoming and spacious, but not overdone and initial reactions show the designers hit that mark.
It is so nice to once again have our volunteers stationed right at the front door, welcoming patients and visitors and helping them find their way. Having the warmth and beauty of a stone fireplace and rocking chairs in our front waiting areas is already such a comfort for our visitors. Some people are understandably nervous when they arrive at a hospital, so having a welcoming comfortable environment helps put them at ease.
Staff and visitors have been so pleased to learn that the dark wood of the front desk and the fireplace’s mantle comes from the two black walnut trees which had to be removed from the NMC campus during the Crest Road relocation project to expand parking and improve traffic safety on campus. We were able to save that wood and have it milled for use in this project. It is a powerful connection between our past, our present, and our future.
The new Gift Shop, run by NMC’s amazing Auxiliary, is absolutely fabulous! For years, the Auxiliary’s Gift Shop has helped meet the needs of our visitors and staff from a truly tiny space. Their new space is much bigger, allowing for more selection to increase the convenience and better meet the need.
The new front area will also house an exciting new volunteer service which is being created right now and should open in early 2017, the Veterans’ Valet which will be a wonderful addition to the exceptional care and service provided at NMC.
Meanwhile, construction continues immediately adjacent to this newly ‘unwrapped’ space. In our new main lobby, the wall to the right as you enter is actually a temporary wall. When that comes down, centralized patient registration will be right there, remarkably convenient for our patients. That are will also be one end of the lovely new walkway which will connect the hospital to the Medical Clinics space and on to the new Medical Office Building. The clinic’s space will house Northwestern Cardiology and Pulmonology as well as other visiting specialists. Northwestern Obstetrics & Gynecology will also have wonderful new space in this new section. The ground floor of the Medical Office Building will provide expanded, flexible, efficient space for Northwestern Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Orthopaedics (with the second floor available for future expansion). At the back of campus, work continues on the addition and renovations necessary to convert NMC’s inpatient rooms to all private rooms for our Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care Unit patients (as private rooms have long been enjoyed on NMC’s beautiful Family Birth Center).
It is so exciting to have the first of our new areas open. I am so proud of the work of our team which has kept this major undertaking “on time, and on budget”! I would like to thank everyone who has donated to our “Exceptional” Capital Campaign to help make this project possibility. The generosity really shows how important maintaining a quality hospital is to this community. I am equally appreciative of the patience and understanding our community (patients, visitors, neighbors, staff, etc) have shown with the work necessary to make these needed enhancements to our healing environment. The focus, flexibility, and efficiency of the new spaced aligns NMC with the future of healthcare and better ensures our facility allows our team to continue to provide exceptional care. Thank you!
— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer