Pennsylvania Hospital Readying Expansion Project

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Mount Nittany Medical Center will soon break ground on a new cancer center, expand its Emergency Department and make other improvements to the acute-care facility, according to hospital officials. Work on the cancer center is expected to begin in early 2011.

Construction will begin next year to the tune of $57 million.  Last summer the medical center added 68 single patient rooms to its East wing. Expansion to the Emergency Department will increase its space to 40,000 square foot, three times its current size. The expansion is expected to cost $33 million.

The Emergency Department will feature 40 single-patient rooms with private bathrooms — which will be able to expand to accommodate up to 60 people — a private bereavement area and a behavioral health area. It will also be designed in four “pods” that can be opened or closed depending on the number of patients it is handling. The department’s top walls made of glass so the staff can see what is happening in each pod. The walls will also be soundproofed to keep the department quiet. Other features, such as radiology, may also be added to increase patient comfort and convenience.

The helicopter pad will be moved to the department’s roof, and a 12,000-square-foot building for the paramedic garage and office space will be added. It is estimated that this phase of the expansion will cost $24 million and will be completed in 2013. Mount Nittany plans to issue bonds to pay for it.

The new cancer center will pull together in to one site the services Mount Nittany currently offers in different areas of the hospital and add services such as physical and speech therapy. Radiation oncology will be expanded and an infusion site, pharmacy and a clinic area will also be added. The center will support research and clinical trials being done by the Penn State Cancer Institute.