A Tour Of The New Anne Arundel Medical Center

| April 9, 2011 | 2 Comments

The finishing touches are still being made to the $424 million expansion that nearly doubles the existing space, but that did not stop nearly 3,000 people from taking a tour of the new facility.

Anne Arundel Medical Center hosted an open house from 11am to 2pm today to give the public a peek behind doors that are normally closed.  The fun family event was free and open to the entire community. Called “Growing Together”, the event included tours of the new tower, some surprises for the kids and an appearance by Dora The Explorer.

The new tower includes an expanded emergency room for adults designed to treat some 100,000 patients annually, a new, dedicated pediatric emergency room and pediatric in-patient unit, 50 new private patient rooms, eight new operating rooms and a new 1,600-space garage for more free parking.  In addition, the pavilion is on track to be the only acute care facility in Maryland to achieve LEED silver certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), as set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

For anyone that has made a visit to the emergency room, it can be a traumatic event. This new facility has been designed to make a trip to the hospital as stress free as possible.

Kids

While adults are able to grasp what is happening in the ER, children often have a tough time. Things are scary, sterile, and there are all sorts of strange noises. With this addition, there is a separate pediatric ER and in-patient facility designed specifically to put children under 18 as at ease as possible. The waiting rooms are colorful with a Chesapeake Bay theme. The nurses station and ER can only be described as whimsical. And more important than the rooms and facilities, all of the doctors and nurses working in the pediatric ER are trained in pediatric medicine and led by Michael Clemmons, M.D, who was proudly greeting guests this morning.

Adults

The existing ER has been expanded for the over 17 set as well allowing then to better serve the growing number of patients seen each year. The reception area has been relocated, enlarged and outfitted for comfort. When entering the new emergency room, you will be greeted at a desk and adults are sent to the right and children to the left. For anyone who has visited the current ER, this new space will be a welcomed relief.

Surgery

The expansion also includes eight new operating rooms. The rooms are large enough to handle a team of medical professionals and are equipped with the latest medical technology. Contrary to popular portrayals on the television, the rooms are somewhat dark, subdued, and relaxing–good news, no doubt, to patients.

Staying Overnight

While modern medicine has eliminated many overnight stays, there are times when a stay will be needed. The new patient rooms offer a lot of space, some innovative amenities, and some creature comforts. The private rooms are roomy and include the standard issue hospital bed, a loveseat, a patient chair, a safe for valuables, telephone, television, and a unique two way door into the bathroom. The door swings in and out and will be a boon to anyone using a walker, crutches, or navigating in a wheelchair.

LEED

This new tower is also very “green” and is one of the only LEED silver certified facilities of its kind in Maryland. While the “green” theme can be found throughout, the most notable aspect is the green roof. The project replaced nearly 17,000 square feet (almost a half acre) of asphalt roof with plantings. The new green roof will reduce the cooling costs of the building and do a much better job of controlling rainwater runoff. Many patient rooms will have a view of roof!

Dora The Explorer

Kids were entertained throughout the hospital. There was a finger casting station so kids could see how a cast was done, there was a balloon animal clown, of course there was the high tech equipment in the ER and the operating rooms, and even a walk through colon–complete with polyps and cancer. But the real star of the show for the kids was on the lower level–Dora The Explorer! Dora was on hand to greet and pose with anyone who wanted to wait in the seemingly endless line.  Ever so gracious, Dora was kind enough to send a wave our way!

While the experience at AAMC was never bad, this addition is a vast improvement and will be a welcome addition to the Anne Arundel County community. AAMC has been (and continues to be) a committed partner to our community and the environment. Many of the materials used to build the facility came from re-used or renewable resources. 92.6% of the construction waste was recycled. The water is managed with low-flow faucets and dual flush plumbing systems. Coupled together with the green roof, the hospital expects to see a 33% savings on water use. And if that wasn’t enough, on the way out, everyone received a “green gift” of a potted seedling to plant at home.

While we wish there was not a need for hospitals, we are very fortunate to have one of this caliber in our community! The new building should be open for patients on April 16, 2011.

Please enjoy the gallery of photos, including our trip through the inflatable colon!

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Category: Businesses, Events, LIFE IN THE AREA

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.