Bellevue's First Full Service Hospital Now Open
Bellevue's first full service hospital is now open to patients. The growing communities of Bellevue, Sarpy County and surrounding areas will benefit from quality, compassionate healthcare close to home.
"People have been watching this facility take shape over the last few years," said Martin T. Carmody, FACHE, CEO of Bellevue Medical Center. "We are so proud to be part of this community and can't wait to welcome our neighbors inside. This is a community hospital and we want everyone to see what we've been working on.
Bellevue Medical Center is a community hospital committed to healing and preventive health care services that support the long-term health and well being of the residents of Bellevue and the surrounding area. The medical center includes 24-hour emergency care, maternity services, inpatient and outpatient surgery, intensive care, cardiology services including cardiac catheterization, cancer services, a pharmacy, radiology, and diagnostic and lab testing. The hospital will have a total of 102 patient beds.
Bellevue is the largest city in the region without a hospital of its own and Sarpy County is the fastest growing area in the state of Nebraska.
"There is not a community in the Midwest with as large a population that doesn't have its own hospital," said Carmody. "We are here to fill that void and provide a positive patient experience."
"Up until now, if a family had an emergency after their doctors' office has closed, they had nowhere close by to go," said Richard Osterholm, MD, internal medicine specialist and chairman of the board of directors for Bellevue Medical Center.
The closing of Offutt Air Force Base's Ehrling Bergquist Hospital in 2005 exacerbated that lack of local health care. That's when a group of local doctors approached The Nebraska Medical Center with the idea of building a community hospital to be partially owned by doctors.
From the very beginning, those doctors have been involved in shaping the culture of Bellevue Medical Center as well as the building itself. "We are applying real-world experience from the doctors who are providing the day to day care of their patients to help guide us in determining the best technology, work flow and nursing care to deliver the best patient care possible," said Dr. Osterholm, himself a Bellevue resident of 25 years.
"The idea was not just to build a hospital in Bellevue, a city that really did need one," said Roy Holeyfield, Jr., MD. "But to build a hospital that was first and foremost centered on the patient; to provide our patients with the best and most modern care right here in Bellevue."
Energy efficiency and environmental friendliness have been important themes in the building as well, making it one of the most energy efficient hospitals in the Midwest. "As part of our responsibility to the community, we wanted to have a minimal footprint on the environment," said Dr. Osterholm. This eco-conscious theme has been carried out throughout the entire facility, from the design to the use of natural resources to create a soothing environment that not only enhances healing but also promotes a general sense of health and well being. The building's most striking visual features are its Ipê wood accents and zinc cladding, which are designed to be maintenance-free for decades. The hospital also capitalizes on the use of natural lighting by incorporating large windows in rooms, lobbies and halls throughout the building and includes a healing garden that features native plants and grasses, fountains and fire pits.
The hospital building has been designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the recognized standard for achieving specific design and construction practices that meet some of the highest performance standards possible for energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly practices. "The team's approach to building this hospital was to be good stewards of our environment," said Carmody. "HDR and Kiewit Building Group teamed up to deliver a facility that will perform 20 percent more efficiently than conventional hospitals. That translates to a savings of about $200,000 per year in energy costs."
Bellevue Medical Center is designed to be not just a place to treat a specific illness or injury, but also a place to treat the mind and spirit as well. "I see this hospital as an opportunity to build a better future for our patients and a better environment for staff to provide care to their patients," said Jacqueline Parmenter, RN, MSN, chief nursing officer at Bellevue Medical Center. "Our leadership is committed to fostering an environment that is caring, respectful, encourages nursing input and one that rewards personal and professional accountability. I have no doubt that we are going to be successful."
Another crucial part of Bellevue Medical Center mission is education. A partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center's (UNMC) Family Medicine Residency Program offers a three-year program to provide training for both civilian and active duty Air Force physicians. Approximately 20 percent of new family physicians trained by the Air Force will now receive part of their residency education at Bellevue Medical Center.
"Bellevue Medical Center has so much to offer the people of Bellevue," said Dr. Osterholm. "It's a hospital that was built for the people of Bellevue and its primary focus will always be to provide for their health and well-being. I think it will become a source of pride for the Bellevue community, and for many, it already is."