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TODAY news for Thursday, August 20, 2007

Loma Linda University Medical Center news

Refurbished unit 7100 opens for cardiac patients in Medical Center

Participating in cutting the ribbon for the newly renovated unit 7100 in Loma Linda University Medical Center
Participating in cutting the ribbon for the newly renovated unit 7100 in Loma Linda University Medical Center are (from left) Daniel Fontoura, MBA, senior vice president and administrator, University Hospital; Lowell C. Cooper, MDiv, MPH, chair, Board of Trustees, Loma Linda University Medical Center; Leonard L. Bailey, MD, chair, department of surgery; Anees J.  Razzouk, MD, chief, cardiothoracic surgery; and B. Lyn Berhens, MBBS, president and chief executive officer, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center.
The grand re-opening of Loma Linda University Medical Center’s cardiothoracic surgery wing took place on Tuesday, August 28, and highlighted Loma Linda’s commitment to patient-centered healing and evidence-based design. 

Attending the event was an estimated audience of 220 individuals. Members of the Medical Center Board of Trustees joined administrative officers, Medical Center staff, and representatives of the local news media to commemorate the re-opening. Cutting the ribbon were Leonard L. Bailey, MD, chair, department of surgery; B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS, president and chief executive officer, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center; Lowell C. Cooper, MDiv, MPH, chair, Board of Trustees, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center; Daniel Fontoura, MBA, senior vice president and administrator, Univeristy Hospital; and Anees J. Razzouk, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery.

After describing the new features, Mr. Fontoura noted that “what makes this place really special is the people.” He reported that unit 7100 earned the highest patient satisfaction rating of any patient care wing at the Medical Center. He attributed its success to the love and commitment of the 7100 staff.

Dr. Razzouk noted that “the success of the cardiothoracic surgery program at Loma Linda is 10 percent skill and 90 percent teamwork. We are known as a team that not only heals the bodies of our patients, but also comforts their souls and points them in the direction of the Divine Healer.”

After praising unit 7100 as a “clean, warm, inviting, and lovely environment of healing,” Dr. Razzouk concluded his remarks with a message for the patients of the cardiothoracic surgery wing and their families. “We value your trust,” he asserted. “Your comfort, safety, and well-being are our number one priority. We will take good care of you.”

Jesse Mock, vice president for facilities and environment, discussed the role of evidence-based design in the renovation of the unit and described the planning process from a patient-centered perspective.

“The evidence-based design methodology that was used to select, plan, and install the elements you see here today is part of our strategic plan,” he said. Mr. Mock noted that everything from the colors of the patient rooms to the art on the walls was carefully evaluated to eliminate clutter, improve staff efficiency, and reduce noise. He emphasized the staff’s desire to “seek God’s blessing as we move forward with this therapeutic environment for our patients.”

To conclude the official ceremonies, Mr. Fontoura called upon Chaplain Hendrik Hutagaol to offer the benediction. Chaplain Hutagaol spoke fondly as he highlighted the remarkable patient transformations the unit 7100 staff has been privileged to share. While acknowledging the healings that took place in the ministry of Jesus at places like the pool of Bethesda, Chaplain Hutagaol re-minded the audience that divine activity is not restricted to biblical times. “Look at the healings that take place in this unit, too,” he urged. “I believe that unit 7100 will continue to bring healing not only to the physical bodies, but also to the minds and spirits of our patients.”

One of the guests at the grand re-opening was Annette Ridenour, the health care designer who coordinated the renovation of unit 7100. Ms. Ridenour is founder and president of Aesthetics, Inc., a San Diego-based firm specializing in the creation of positive community environments.

“Everything in unit 7100 was developed according to the principles of evidence-based design,” she says. She went on to explain that evidence-based design is the study of how physical environments affect health outcomes.

“It’s a very exciting new field that integrates architecture, interior design, and the findings of neuroscience,” she continues. “In addition to health care, evidence-based design is being used to decrease anti-social behavior among prisoners at correctional facilities.

“Loma Linda is taking a very progressive stance by incorporating the principles of evidence-based design into its two master plans for renovation,” Ms. Ridenour elaborates. “The first one, the way-finding master plan, addresses how visitors find their way from the lobby to the appropriate care areas within the Medical Center. The second one, the interior design master plan, concerns the selection of finishes and furnishings for use inside the patient care units.”

Ms. Ridenour referenced the series of calming inspirational quotations printed at the entrance to each room as powerful spiritual and psychological resources to recovering patients. One of them, a heartfelt statement by an anonymous author, notes that “courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” 

Other sayings—including positive affirmations from Jesus and the Apostle Paul—draw upon scriptural morale boosters. A reflection from Henry David Thoreau asserts that “It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.” For patients with potentially life-threatening conditions, these healing words are intended to convey hope and encouragement.

Encouraging messages of a visual nature are communicated by colorful nature photographs on the walls of the patient rooms. Images of Alaskan wilderness depict the majesty of primal creation. In every scene, a powerful mountain presides over a picturesque landscape rich in healing shades of green and blue.

In some images, the fall color adds a seasonal grace note and invites contemplation. In one photograph, a solitary sailboat rests at anchor beneath enormous lofty peaks and endless forests. Taken alone or together, the pictures remind viewers of the life-enhancing beauty of God’s power reflected in the world of nature.

The 12 patient rooms of unit 7100 radiate outward from the central medical and nursing workstation like rays of the sun or spokes of a wheel. The use of one neutral, one warm, and one cool color in each room enhances the experience of serenity as highly figured patterns on the floor suggest the visual intricacy of natural wood. “Everything here is designed to convey a healing sense of positive well-being,” Ms. Ridenour observed.

“We are very pleased with the renovation of unit 7100,” Jesse Mock noted. “We like the way it looks and are excited about the positive message the healing motif conveys. We see it as an extension of our mission to make man whole.”

By James Ponder

TODAY news for Thursday, August 20, 2007