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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Plaza Medical plans name change, $64 million expansion

Medical City Fort Worth, as Plaza Medical is now known, will see some big changes with a $64 million expansion project scheduled to begin in the first quarter.

Plans include additional emergency rooms, a new 28-bed ICU and a helipad to provide greater access for emergency personnel and faster care for patients.

The new ICUs will be focused on Medical City Fort Worth’s growing transplant program, which includes kidney and liver transplants. The hospital will end this year with 120 kidney transplants, said Clay Franklin, CEO of Medical City Fort Worth and is expanding its liver transplant program.

“We’re expanding our transplant training programs, and our new facility will complement that as well as our neuroscience programs,” Franklin said.

A new 103,557-square-foot, three-story building, to be built across Ninth Avenue on land currently being used as a parking lot and to the west of the current hospital building, should open in 2018. The new building will be connected to the current hospital by an elevated crosswalk over Ninth Avenue. Total cost for the ER project will be approximately $34 million, part of the $64 million total.

Some details on the project:

• First floor Emergency Room will have a total of 30 beds, including trauma, pediatric and “fast track” exam rooms. The Emergency Room will have “Fast track” rooms equipped with designated caregivers to treat patients with less complicated complaints that can typically be handled in less than an hour and a half, according to hospital officials.

• The second floor will house a 28-bed Intensive Care Unit, with 16 beds dedicated to neurology intensive care and12 beds dedicated to a new Comprehensive Liver Center. These new ICU beds will complement the hospital’s current existing 40 ICU beds.

• The expansion will also help the hospital as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Medical Center Fort Worth continues to serve more high acuity patients who need specialized neurological intensive care. As part of the Texas Stroke Institute stroke care network and its affiliation with Neurosurgical Associates of North Texas, seven neurosurgeons from Fort Worth Brain and Spine Institute joined the hospital’s medical staff in 2016. Expanding the hospital’s physical space will provide more capacity for treating stroke and neurosurgery patients, according to hospital officials. Earlier this year, the hospital opened a $4.5 million 18-bed acute inpatient rehabilitation unit.

• The hospital has applied to UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) to start a liver transplant program under the auspices of our Fort Worth Transplant Institute. The hospital expects to launch the liver transplant program in early 2017, as part of its new Comprehensive Liver Center. The Fort Worth Transplant Institute at Plaza Medical Center already has a kidney transplant program with the best one-year graft survival rate in Texas and the second best in the nation, according to hospital officials.

• The third floor of the building will initially be constructed as a shell, providing room for future expansion.

• An additional helipad will be built on the roof of the new construction to provide easier access for critical patients. This new helipad will be in addition to the current helipad located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and West Humboldt St.

Architects for the project are Perkins+Will of Dallas.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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